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Jesus Friend of Sinners

I don’t understand completely why Jesus would die for me. That is mighty powerful love. And He did it because He considers me a friend. I don’t deserve it. I have missed God’s goal for my life (aka sinner). Jesus was famous for bring the friend of sinners. For that I am thankful.

Most of us have many acquaintances but very few friends, and even some of our friends may prove unfriendly or even unfaithful. What about Judas? “Yes, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). Even a devoted friend may fail us when we need him most. Peter, James, and John went to sleep in the Garden when they should have been praying; and Peter even denied the Master three times. Our friendship to each other and to the Master is not perfect, but His friendship to us is perfect.

However, we must not interpret this word friend in a limited way, because the Greek word means “a friend at court.” It describes that “inner circle” around a king or emperor. (In John 3:29, it refers to the “best man”, at a wedding.) The “friends of the king” would be close to him and know his secrets, but they would also be subject to him and have to obey his commands. There is thus no conflict between being a friend and being a slave.

It is this kind of a relationship that Jesus described when He called His disciples “friends.” It was certainly a relationship of love, both for Him and for each other. The “friends of the King” could not compete with each other for attention or promotion. They were a part of the “inner circle,” not to promote themselves, but to serve their King. What a rebuke this must have been to the selfish disciples who often argued over who was the greatest!

  • John 15:13 — 13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
  • Romans 5:7–8 — 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, the Messiah died for us.
  • Luke 12:4 — 4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
  • John 3:16 — 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • 1 Peter 3:18 — 18 For the Messiah also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
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