Friendship with Jesus

Scripture: John 11:5, ‘Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.’

 

Observations: When we think of Jesus we tend to think of him in terms of his ministry, his miracles and teaching, or his death and resurrection. It is easy to overlook how normal he was, that he was a person like you and me, a person who felt pain and frustration, who knew joy and sorrow, and who had friends. The Apostle John tells us that Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus. John uses the stronger word for love here ‘agape,’ which is the sort of love that sacrifices itself for the sake of the other. Earlier Martha and Mary send word to Jesus that ‘the one you love is sick. (v3)’ This is the word ‘philo,’ or ‘brotherly love.’ Later Jesus uses this word himself saying ‘Our friend Lazarus [has died]. (v11)’ And when the people see Jesus weep before Lazarus’ tomb they use that same word again, ‘See how he loved him! (v36)’ Jesus cared deeply about Martha, Mary and Lazarus. They weren’t just his disciples he considered them his friends. In fact, Jesus didn’t consider anyone who followed him as just a disciple, rather he saw them as friends (Jn 15:15).

 

Application: Jesus doesn’t want you to just recognize him as your Lord and Saviour, he wants you to be his friend. At its very heart Christianity isn’t a religion i.e. a set of beliefs about God, rather it’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. A Christian is someone who is loved by Jesus and in turn loves Jesus. Jesus proved how deep his love for you was by dying on the cross, he is the best friend, but what sort of friend are you? Are you Jesus’ best friend, or maybe an occasional friend, or maybe you’re just an acquaintance, or maybe you’re a stranger. Do you love Jesus, and if so how are you showing it?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You showed me just how much You love me by sending Your One and Only Son to die on the cross so that I could be reconciled with You, so that I could not only call You Father, but friend. Your Son didn’t just come to make disciples, but to make friends. But Lord, even though Jesus is the best friend I could ever have, I make such a poor friend. Lord, I love Your word, but often I don’t allow it to sink into my heart. Lord, I struggle talking to You, and I don’t spend as much time with You as You deserve. And Lord, so often I don’t live the sort of life that honours our friendship. Lord, forgive my lukewarm friendship. Fill me with Your Spirit that my love for You might burn bright and strong. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.  

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