Unsaved People and Saved People Have a Friend in Jesus (John 15:13-14)
1. The theme for today's activities has been "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." 2. According to the Bible, "we" includes unsaved people and saved people.
I. UNSAVED PEOPLE HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS
A. During His ministry Jesus was criticized for being "a friend of publicans and sinners" (Matthew 11:19). B. Nevertheless, sinners were attracted to Jesus (Matthew 9:10; Luke 15:1). C. The Lord's dealings with a woman, in John 8:1-11, explain why. 1. On this occasion, Jesus was being "tempted" [tried, tested]. a. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Him. b. Her accusers told Jesus what the Law of Moses said. 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, He would be in trouble with the Roman officials b) released, He would be violating the Law of Moses. 2. These men were not really interested in doing God's will. a. 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 adultery and deserved to die. b. Her accusers were hostile to her. 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 did not leave her, and He had empathy for her. b. Jesus stood up for her by answering her accusers, He let her know that He was not going to condemn her, and He told her, "go, and sin no more." 5. These events show us that Jesus is an unsaved person's best friend. a. His mission is not to condemn -- His mission is to save. b. He still calls upon unsaved people to turn from sin and live godly lives [He came to call "sinners to repentance" -- Mark 2:17].
II. SAVED PEOPLE HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS
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 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; Proverbs 17:17a; 18:24b) 3. does not want us to leave Him (Revelation 2:10).
1. We have shown that Jesus is a special friend to unsaved people as well as to saved people. 2. He has shown us how much He loves us (John 15:13). 3. He wants us to be His friends (John 15:14).