We've been looking at some of the characteristics of Jesus' friends according to the New Testament. Today we'll finish up by looking at one more friend.
Let's take a look at Thomas.
John 11:16 Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, "Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!"
This sounds like a very loyal friend. He was actually willing to go with Jesus even if it meant dying with Him. We all need friends like this! Let's see if there's anything more about Thomas:
John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
Unbelief! This is where the phrase, doubting Thomas, came from. So how did Jesus handle this situation:
John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!"
Jesus gave Thomas the proof he needed in order to believe. We need to remember to be encouraging to our friends when they are going through times of unbelief in their lives. There was a time when I struggled with unbelief. Thankfully, I had encouraging friends, like Chatty Kelly, who came alongside me to lift me up!
Here is an important group of verses that can help us learn to be better friends ourselves:
John 13:12-15 After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. "Do you understand what I have just done to you?" he asked. "You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.
John 13:34 And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
What a powerful example of Love Jesus has left us with. No matter how our friends might treat us, we are to show them unconditional love. Encouraging them, and even cleaning their feet - a servant kind of love.
I hope this leaves you looking at your friendships and examining your own hearts to see if you are showing the kind of love Jesus commanded us to.
I'd love to hear if you've had to encourage one of your friends in a time when they were doubting, or maybe you were the friend in need. Please share with us so we can all learn from your experiences. Thanks for stopping by today!