On Wednesday we looked at the criteria that Jesus set for His close friendships. Today we are going to look at what to expect from the friendships in our lives.
Lets start out looking at Judas Iscariot. If you are at all familiar with the Biblical account of Jesus that name will send goose bumps down your spine. What was He thinking picking Judas as one of the 12? Jesus already knew he would betray Him so why pick him? Because the Father told Him to! It was all a part of the grand plan that God had for the salvation of the world. So we know from Judas that friends can sometimes betray us.
Matthew 10:4b Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
The next friend we will look at is Peter. He was the first of the twelve to be picked and also the one that Jesus renamed saying, "upon this rock I will build my church". Sounds like a better friend. Let's look at some key verses:
Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned around and said to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature."
Here we see that our friends are not always going to have all of the right answers. Peter was feeling caught up in the emotion of the moment and I think that can happen to us all at times.
Matthew 26:34 Jesus said to Peter, "I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me."
Denial, it makes you wonder why He wasn't more selective with His friends, doesn't it.
Now lets look at a redeeming trait of Peter's:
Mat 14:29 "Come!" answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus.
Faith! Peter had great faith and that is a trait we should expect from our close friends.
I am seeing a pattern for friendships. We can hope for a solid faith in God, but still expect them to make mistakes. Through all of this it is important to note that Jesus never rejected any of them. Not even Judas Iscariot! I wonder if I even know how to love friends with love like this?
I would love to hear a story of how a friend of yours has either showed great faith in God or has been vulnerable to sin and how you handled the situation.
Monday we'll continue to look at Jesus' friends.