What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Written by Tom Ayers
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 16:28

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

A. Jesus Calls All Men to Be His Friend.

B. Jesus Was a Friend to Everyone While on the Earth

C. Jesus was a Friend to Children

D. Jesus was a Friend to the Poor

E. Jesus was a Friend to the Sick

F. Jesus was a Friend to All Races

G. In a Very Special Way Jesus is a Friend to Sinners

o      Jesus Laid Down His Life for Sinners, Romans 5:8 says “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  This was the ultimate sacrifice.  Christ died for us because of our sins. 


o      B. This was the “Good News” that was Preached to Lost Sinners

o      C. This Makes Jesus a Friend to All of Us, Since We are all Sinners Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God;”

H. Jesus Calls On Us to Be His FriendThe song is exactly right:"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege toCarry, everything to God in prayer.  O, what peace we often forfeit.  O what needless pain weBear.  All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer." 

How Can We Be A Better Friend to Jesus?

When you think about the failures, the disappointments, the tragedies, the heartache that this life can bring, how hard would it be to face these challenges without friends.  FRIENDS.  Aren’t friends wonderful?  Friends help us with difficulties in life.  Friends comfort us.  Friends spend time with us.  Friends accept us for who we are.  Friends come in all shapes, all sizes, all ethnic backgrounds, and all colors.  Friends are an essential part of a well balanced life.  We truly do need the friends that we have.  What would we do without friends?  What would you do without friends?  Hopefully on this earth your husband or wife is your dearest friend.  Other than your spouse, who is your closest friend?  Are they here?  Continue to encourage them to be here if they are not. 

Let’s depart from these thoughts for just a moment as we go back and look at some of the events in Jesus life that we can read about in John 18 and John 19.  In John 18 Shortly after Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, Jesus has been handed over to the Romans by the Jews and he has been given to Pontius Pilate.  Pontius Pilate could find no fault in this man and was looking for a way to release Jesus.  There was a custom that at the Passover one man could be released unto them.  Pontius Pilate then asked the crowd whether they wanted Jesus to be crucified or whether they wanted Jesus to be released.  He gave them the option to release Jesus or to release a hardened known criminal in Barabbas.  The crowd cried out that they wanted Barabbas to be released and to crucify Jesus.  Pilate therefore, wanting to release Jesus, spoke again to them but they cried saying, “Crucify him, Crucify him”.  With Barabbas being a robber and a murderer, this gives a true indication of how badly the Jews hated Jesus.  They would rather a murdering thief be set free rather than Jesus.  He was the epitome of everything they did not like.  Pontius Pilate gave into the wishes of the Jews and released Barabbas.  Jesus was scourged, beaten heavily, before being turned over for crucifixion.  Soldier’s had plaited a crown of thorns and had put the crown on his head, they placed him in a purple robe and mocked him saying “Hail, King of the Jews”!  He was smote with their hands and spit upon.  Afterwards Pilate made one last ditch effort to save Jesus and the Jews continued to cry out “Crucify him, Crucify him”.  Pilate told them “Take ye him, and Crucify him: for I find no fault in him”.  Pilate washed his hands of the matter.  The Jews took Jesus and led him away.  He was taken to the place of crucifixion and nailed to the cross.

We need to ask, where were Jesus’ friends?  Where was Peter when Jesus was going through the torture, the pain, the agony as events led to Jesus crucifixion?  We need to remember that Peter was a member of the inner 3.  Peter, James and John were very close to Jesus.  In John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now?  I will lay down my life for thy sake.”  Peter was telling Jesus that he was ready to die for him but was no where around.  Where were Jesus’ disciples?  Where were they as Jesus went through all of the pain and agony that he endured prior to crucifixion?  Jesus was facing crucifixion alone.  Today we have our friends that will go through trials with us.  Friends that will always stand up for us.  Friends those are willing to face adversity to support us.  At one of the most crucial times in Jesus’ life, his friends were not present.  Wouldn’t you feel horrible if you knew that one of your friends went through some very difficult times alone?  Jesus bore the cross alone.  Don’t these events in Jesus life just break your heart?  Doesn’t knowing what Jesus endured for each of us, make you want to be a better friend to Jesus?  Jesus died for you, Jesus died for me, and Jesus died for all of us.  He was innocent, he had committed no sin, he had faced all the trials that we face, yet he was willing to die on the cross for our sins.  In this lesson we are going to look at how we can be a better friend to Jesus.  Ask yourself, “How can I be a better friend to Jesus?”  In our lesson we will be reviewing several points which will help us be a better friend to Jesus.

1.    We can be a better friend to Jesus, by truly believing that the Bible is from God.  There are all kinds of people in our world that read the Bible.  Not all of them believe that the Bible is from God.  Some of the people read the Bible just for interest sake.  They want to know what it says, they really have no idea; they have no inclination, no desire to obey what it says….  Some people read the Bible so that they can debate with others….  These debates can occur at school, at work, in the grocery store, at a family gathering and so on.  Some people read the Bible just for fun; they want to hear some of the old Bible stories they heard while they were growing up….  Friends, the Bible, the book that we all love so well didn’t just happen overnight.  It could have.  God could have just floated it down from Heaven.  But he did not do it that way.  God wanted us to know that the Bible was from him.  The Bible is the way that God speaks to us.  The Bible took more than 1600 years to write and has over 40 different writers.  We also know it is the word of God because of the many prophecies within the Bible.  God also has told us that the Bible is his inspired word.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.  There are no errors in the Bible.  We need to believe that the Bible is truly God’s inspired word so we can be a better friend to Jesus.

2.    In our next point we can be a better friend to Jesus by knowing and understanding the Bible.  You should want to know more than the Bible came from God you also need to know and understand the Bible.  We should all want to know what the Bible says.  God lets us know that we need to study the Bible.  2 Timothy 2:15 says “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  The Bible also speaks about the value of wisdom.  Proverbs 8:10-11 says “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.  (11) For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”  Additionally, the Bible speaks about being steadfast in God’s word.  1 Timothy 4:16 says “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  People around us will benefit from our knowledge.  Let’s think about Noah for a second.  Wasn’t it interesting that Noah saved his family?  We do have an influence on our family and friends and may be able to influence them if we know God’s word.  What are you willing to do to save your family?  What are you willing to do to save your friends?  Are you fluent enough in God’s word to teach your friends and family and to help to save them from the wickedness of the world.  We know we are to study.  We know from 2 Timothy 2:15 that we must rightly divide the word of God.  It also implies that God’s word can be interpreted incorrectly.  Remember in Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”  Do what it takes to protect God’s word…..   Don’t give in…….  Stay the course…….    Proverbs 1:5 “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”  If you want to obtain wisdom, don’t just look into some encyclopedia for philosophy.  Look into the Bible.  Make it a habit to study your bible.  Make it a practice to study from Proverbs for wisdom and guidance.  You can be a better friend to Jesus by knowing and understanding the Bible.

3.    Our next point to become a better friend to Jesus is to make prayer a consistent part of your daily life.  I know that everyone’s days get crowded.  I know that we can have good intentions. I know that time slips by.  We all really need to slow down a little and take the time to go to God in prayer.  We should pray fervently to God.  Jesus himself led a very fervent prayer life.  He gave us examples of prayer.  He demonstrated prayer in his actions.  We are told in             1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray without ceasing”.  And in Ephesians 6:18 “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”…...   Jesus is our advocate with God the Father…..                               1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you.  That ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” Prayer is our way to communicate to God.  As a member of the Lord’s church our prayers are heard.  God wants to hear from us.  Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord:  but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”  We should also pray for one another.                                 James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.”                                   Prayer is power; it is the power line in the life of a Christian.  Just as in the show “Who wants to be a millionaire?”  Their life line can be phoning a friend.  To communicate with God you do not need a telephone.  All we need is a moment of prayer.  It gives us an opportunity to keep God at the forefront of our life.  God will help you.  God will hear you.  God will answer you.  If your prayer life is not what it should, be let me encourage you to begin a daily prayer life with God today.  Not just a prayer when you are in trouble, or when something is not going right in your life, but continual prayer.  A steadfast prayer life will help you to be a better friend to Jesus.

4.    The next point that will help you be a better friend to Jesus, is by telling everybody you know about him.  Remember in Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Why is it so hard for us to preach the gospel?  During this upcoming week complete the following sentence.  “The reason or reasons I am not more personally evangelistic is because …….”  Once you have completed the sentence then take those steps to become more evangelistic.  Are any of us as evangelistic as we should be?  Are we telling everyone we know about Jesus?  All of us should be able to finish the sentence……………..........  Some people believe that Christianity is boring.  If you are doing nothing,,, Christianity may be boring,,, but doing nothing is really not true Christianity.  Christianity is what you do out there!  It is what you do when you go to somebody, and say, let me tell you about Jesus.  It is what you do when you show someone, how to be saved.  It is what you do when you invite someone to church.  Don’t believe that you should not tell anyone about Jesus because you are afraid or are not ready.  Study, get ready, be prepared.  Some may listen willingly, some may refuse to listen, and some will tell you that they are already saved.  Every soul in this world is worth your time and effort.  Don’t be afraid.  Be ready to give an answer.  Be a better friend to Jesus by telling others about him.

5.    In our next point you can be a better friend to Jesus by standing up for him.  It is a sad view on our religious involvement when you see the jokes that are told about Jesus, the pictures that you can get of Jesus, the violation of God’s word.  Jesus is mocked.  Jesus is treated as just a human.  We know what we are seeing, and we know what we are seeing is wrong.  We need to learn to stand up for Jesus.  This can be done in a number of ways.  Most people will recognize that you are different in just how you act.  But if that is not enough just let them know that you do not like those kinds of jokes.  You can do this easy enough by getting up and leaving.  Many times by just leaving you will send the message that you don’t care for those types of jokes.  Most of all though, we must stand up for Jesus.  In 2 Timothy 4:2-4 we are told to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (3)For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.”  Remember that the gospel is not going to force itself onto anyone; the gospel needs us to stand up for Jesus.  We are too guard the truth as instructed in 1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”  There is no doubt that we make it a habit to stand up for our friends.  Let’s also make it a habit to stand up for Jesus.  In doing so this will make you a better friend to Jesus.

6.    In this study, the last way we will review how to be a better friend to Jesus is to renew our commitment to Jesus every day.  We are warned in I Corinthians 9:27 of not becoming a castaway, it teaches us about self discipline.  This verse says But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  We need to protect ourselves from falling away.  We need a strong foundation.  We get this strong foundation by being grounded in the faith.  And don’t forget, we need to run the entire race.  In      2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” How sad it would be to see someone who was a Christian their entire life, falter at the end.  We must all run the race to the end.  Let’s all run the race to the end of our time and put on that incorruptible crown given to us by God.  Jesus put it this way in    Luke 9:62 “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Let’s all follow God’s word and make that commitment to our Father, and be a better friend to Jesus.

1. A true friend loves you no matter what.                                                                                                                        Proverbs 17:1 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

a. Jesus love is unconditional.
b. Jesus love is in spite of your faults and failures.
c. Jesus loves you.

2. A true friend tells you the truth.                                                                                                    Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”

a. Jesus has your best interests in mind.
b. Truth sets the foundation for a relationship.
c. Jesus is completely honest.

3. A true friend is there when you need help.                                                                                                                                 Job 6:14a “To him that is afflicted, pity should be shewed from his friend;…”

a. Jesus is willing to listen.
b. Jesus is able to act. 
c. Jesus is always there

4.  A true friend encourages you to be a better person.
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

a. Jesus wants to see you reach your full potential.
b. Jesus rejoices at your success.
c. Jesus gives you the plan to be successful


5. A true friend is faithful.  Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

a. Jesus keeps his promises.
b. Jesus is devoted to you.
c. Jesus will keep you in a relationship with the Father
d. Jesus is a TRUE Friend…..Let’s face reality, Heaven or Hell awaits us.  Heaven is not some joke.   Heaven is not some fairly tale.  Hell is not some joke.  Hell is not some fairy tale.  We all will be somewhere in eternity.  Why not choose Heaven for our eternal home.  A place where there is no sadness, a place where there is no death, no pain, no tears, no sickness.  Heaven is the place where we can spend eternity with our Lord and Savior.  Why choose Hell.  There you will have total darkness, wailing and gnashing of teeth, complete agony.  You only have two choices; Heaven or Hell.  You need to choose Heaven.  Once your life is over you have no more chances.  Choose Heaven today.

Let me close with just a couple of questions.

1. Are you a friend of Jesus?

2. Are you a friend like Jesus?

3. Are you willing to become His friend and a friend like Him?