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By Stan L. Caldwell

CHILDREN: Can you not see Jesus taking little children in his arms and teaching his disciples of the glorious characteristics of such children! He loved their purity, honesty, innocence, humility, dependence, sincerity, love, etc. How great this world would be if all kept such qualities through life. Jesus’ friends have such characteristics.

WIDOWS: The poor widow who gave all she had into the temple treasury caught Jesus’ heart. He spoke of her as having given more than all who cast into the treasury. He noticed her, He commended her, and He saw her as His friend. James 1:27 admonishes us to remember the widows and orphans. They must be our friends, if we are His friends. They have a friend in Jesus.

PUBLICANS: Zaccheus and Matthew were publicans, tax collectors. Though publicans were often associated with sinners Jesus found there were some good men among them. Zaccheus said, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold”, Luke 9:8. Matthew wrote the first of the four gospels of the New Testament. These two were Jesus’ friends. Many classes of individuals have a bad name today and yet there are individuals among such that may be righteous. Car salesmen, politicians, those of another race may be more righteous than anyone we know. Jesus is a friend to such when they are good and so we should be.

ALL HUMAN BEINGS INCLUDING YOU: He came to live, to teach and to die for mankind. He died for you! Who should have died on the cross? Jesus did not sin but we have (Rom. 3:23). John 15:3, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”. He is a friend to us all.

Maybe the better question is, ARE YOU HIS FRIEND? What have you done for Him? Have you loved Him enough to repent of your sins and obey the gospel? He said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. He said, “He that loveth me keepeth my commandments”. Do you love Him enough to keep His commandments? Do you worship Him because you love Him? Do you pray to Him because He is your friend? Do you sing His praises? Do you meet each first day of the week around His table to commemorate His death for you? Do you talk to others about Him and seek to glorify His name by the type life you live? Do you sacrifice for others and love others because they are made in His image and because He loves them as He loves you?

Being a friend is a twofold proposition. One must be a friend if he desires to have a friend. Jesus has proved himself to be our friend but we must prove ourselves to be His friend. Peter said in 1 Pet. 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Are you Jesus’ friend?

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