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MAN’S BEST FRIEND

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   We have all heard the saying:  “A dog is man’s best friend.”  In some ways, this is true.

1.    They are loyal.

2.    They are glad to see us.

3.    They don’t talk back to us.

4.    If mistreated, they still remain loyal.

5.    They never break our confidence.

 

B.   There is a friend, however, who is a better than a dog.  He is truly “man’s best friend.”  This is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

C.   In our bulletin article for today, we set forth ten elements of friendship.  Jesus fulfills all of these elements to the letter.

 

I.             JESUS IS A FRIEND OF TRUST

 

A.   He is one in whom we can place our full and complete confidence.

 

B.   He will always be with us and never forsake us.

1.    His promise to His apostles (Matt. 28:20b)

 

…and, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.

 

2.    His promise to us (Heb. 13:5)

 

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:  for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake.

 

II.           JESUS IS A FRIEND OF LOVE

 

A.   Jesus set forth a truth about friends in John 15:13.

 

Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

 

B.   Jesus has laid down His life for us proving that He loves us.

1.    Titus 2:14

 

Who gave himself for us…

 

2.    I John 3:16

 

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…

 

C.   Love always seeks the best interest of another.

1.    Jesus did not give His life to save us from physical death.

2.    Jesus laid down His life to save us from spiritual death (Rom. 6:23).

 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

III.         JESUS IS A FRIEND WHO ACCEPTS US

 

A.   During His earthly ministry, Jesus was constantly among those who were looked down upon and who were despised by others.

1.    Matthew 9:10

 

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

 

2.    Luke 15:1

 

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

 

B.   Jesus is not concerned about our gender, socio-economic status, race, culture, looks, education, or other factors of discrimination.  Jesus accepts us regardless of our wrinkles, spots, and flaws.

 

IV.         JESUS WILL STICK WITH US

 

A.   Jesus and Peter

1.    Jesus knew Peter was going to deny Him, but He prayed for him (Luke 22:31-32).

2.    Peter denied the Lord, and the Lord forgave him (John 21:15-17).

3.    Peter was not perfect, but he was used to open the doors of the kingdom to the Jews and to the Gentiles (Matt. 16:19).

 

B.   Jesus is willing to stick with us as well.

1.    He will forgive us of our sins.

2.    When others walk away, He will be with us.

3.    II Timothy 4:16-17a

 

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me:  I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me…

 

V.           JESUS IS A FRIEND WHO SUPPORTS US

 

A.   The word “support” means to hold up, bear up, and sustain.

 

B.   When Jesus offered His invitation to mankind, He exhorted them to come take His yoke (Matt. 11:28-30).

 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

1.    Jesus shares our load with us.  We are no longer pulling alone.

2.    Compared to the burden of sin, His burden is light and easy.

 

VI.         JESUS RECIPROCATES IN HIS FRIENDSHIP

 

A.   Jesus asks at lot out of us in our friendship with Him

 

B.   But, the giving is not lopsided.  It is reciprocal.  He also gives in return.

 

1.    He provides us with an example (I Pet. 2:21).

2.    He is our mediator functioning between us and God (I Tim. 2:5).

3.    He is our shepherd, leading us in paths of righteousness and beside the still waters (Ps. 23:1-6).

 

VII.       JESUS IS “FRANK” WITH US

 

A.   Jesus loves us, but He also speaks frankly and directly to us.  Jesus is more concerned about our soul than our feelings.

 

B.   Some of Jesus’ frank statements:

1.    Matthew 7:3

 

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is thine own eye?

 

2.    Matthew 10:37

 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:  and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

 

3.    Luke 6:46

 

And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 

4.    John 13:14

 

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

 

VIII.     AS OUR FRIENDS, JESUS SYMPATHIZES WITH US

 

A.   Hebrews 4:15

 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

B.   When Jesus was on the earth, His earthly ministry was filled with compassion for others (Matt. 9:36).

 

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

 

C.   In all of our hurts, pains, sorrows, and losses, Jesus shares our feelings with us.

 

IX.         JESUS IS A SOURCE OF ENJOYMENT

 

A.   Friends find comfort and enjoyment in one another’s presence.

 

B.   The psalmist was one who found joy in his God and in spiritual things.

1.    Speaking of the Lord as his shepherd, he wrote:  “…thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…” (Ps. 23:4b).

2.    Speaking of the time of worship, he says:  “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up into the house of the Lord” (Ps. 122:1).

3.    With regard to the testimonies of the Lord, he proclaimed:  “…they are the rejoicing of my heart” (Ps. 119:111).

 

X.           JESUS IS A FRIEND WITH BOUNDARIES

 

A.   In His Word, Jesus guides, exhorts, encourages, and commands us to do the right thing.

 

B.   But, Jesus will never force His will upon us.  He allows us the freedom to choose.  He respects our boundaries (Luke 13:34).

 

 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not.

 

1.    Jerusalem:  representative of the Jewish people

2.    Jesus’ desire:  to gather the Jews unto Himself as they Savior and Messiah

3.    The Jew’s choice:  “and ye would not”

 

C.   All of us are free to choose how we will yield ourselves to the Master.  He longs for faithfulness, but He will not force us to serve Him.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Friendships are based on many principles.

 

B.   Man often violates these principles:  trust, acceptance, support sympathy.

 

C.   Jesus will never violate these principles.

1.    Jesus will always be a loyal friend.

2.    Truly, Jesus is man’s best friend!