Introduction: 1. In these verses, Jesus mentioned the word "friends" 3 times. a. Jesus showed His apostles that He was their friend. b. He told them how they could be His friends. 2. Friends are a great blessing -- we consider them to be special. 3. We also expect certain things from our friends. a. We expect our friends to be true to us -- "A friend loveth at all times" (Proverbs 17:17). b. We expect our friends to be able to empathize with us -- "To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend" (Job 6:14). 4. The verses we are studying show us what kind of friend Jesus is.
I. JESUS IS A SPECIAL FRIEND TO SINNERS
A. Sinners were attracted to Jesus (Matthew 9:10; Luke 15:1). B. The Lord's dealings with a woman in John 8:1-11 help us understand why. 1. On this occasion, Jesus was being "tempted" [tried]. a. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Him. b. Her accusers told Jesus what the Law of Moses said about dealing with such a person -- she was to be put to death. c. These men were using this woman to try to find something they could use against the Lord. 1) At that time, the Romans controlled Palestine, but they allowed the Jews to have a certain amount of freedom to govern themselves. 2) However, the Jews were not allowed to administer capital punishment. 3) If Jesus said that the woman was to be: a) stoned, then He would be in trouble with the Roman officials b) released, then He would be violating the law of Moses. 2. These men were not really interested in doing God's will. a. The law actually said that both parties involved in adultery were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:10). b. They did not bring the man -- they only brought the woman. 3. Consider this woman's predicament. a. She was a sinner -- she had been caught in the very act of adultery, and she deserved to die. b. Her accusers were hostile to her -- they were willing for her to be put to death so they could accuse Jesus. c. We can safely say that this woman desperately needed a friend. 4. Jesus became her best friend. a. Although this was a touchy situation, Jesus: 1) did not leave her 2) had empathy for her. b. Jesus: 1) stood up for her by answering her accusers 2) let her know that He was not going to condemn her 3) told her, "go, and sin no more." 5. These events show us that Jesus is a sinner's best friend. a. His mission is not to condemn -- His mission is to save. b. He still calls upon sinners to turn from sin and live godly lives [He came to call "sinners to repentance" -- Mark 2:17].
II. JESUS IS A SPECIAL FRIEND TO HIS FOLLOWERS
A. The Lord's feelings toward His followers are expressed in John 13:1. B. Let us consider what Paul said about the Lord in 2 Timothy 4:16-18. 1. Paul was in Rome making a defense for charges that had been brought against him. 2. When he made his first defense no friend stood with him -- everyone had forsaken him. 3. However, there was One who stood with him. 4. Not only did the Lord stand with him, but He also gave Paul the strength that he needed during this difficult time. a. Jesus knew how Paul felt because all of His followers had forsaken Him when He was arrested (Matthew 26:56). b. The Lord did not leave Paul -- He was with him until the end. C. The Lord: 1. knows how we feel during times of difficulty (Hebrews 4:15) 2. is true -- He will not leave us (Hebrews 13:5b) 3. does not want us to leave Him (Revelation 2:10).
1. We have shown that Jesus is a special friend to sinners and His followers. 2. He has shown us how much He loves us (John 15:13). 3. He tells us how we can be His friends (John 15:14). 4. Are you a friend of Jesus?