A Look at Jesus’ Example

by Rachel Marie

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It’s a fact that true friends are “precious and rare.” We can see this as we reflect on our own lives, or even at the lives of famous people throughout history, and even more vividly portrayed in the lives of many people in the Bible, and most of all in the life of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus was and is the greatest Friend that ever has been, or ever will be… yet, even his very “best” friends – the disciples – didn’t all remain “true” friends. One betrayed Him; one denied Him; one doubted Him; and all but one left Him, in the face of difficulty and death. So, by the example of Jesus’ life, we can clearly see that even if you yourself are the ultimate, perfect friend ever (which, relax, you’ll never be!), you will doubtless have to experience the bitter pains caused by “false” friends.

The important part is that we are able to respond to those who hurt us in this fashion with the same response as Jesus’ :
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
No exceptions.

When Peter denied that he ever knew Jesus three times, Luke’s Gospel points out something very interesting. In verse 61 of chapter 22, we read:

“And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.
And Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said unto him,

Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.”

I believe that when Jesus “turned and looked upon Peter,” He looked at Peter with eyes full of such love and mercy and compassion, that the following verse (62), tells us:

“And Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

You see what strong and sincere love did to Peter’s heart?

After looking into those Eyes of the deepest love, his conscience smote him, and he wept – “bitterly.”

I really believe that Jesus loved Judas just as much as He loved Peter; but Judas was not willing to be broken by that love the way that Peter was. He had the choice, and he refused the love that was extended to his heart.

Jesus, the perfect Friend, still doesn’t win every heart.

Why? Because He’s given us the choice – the free will – to accept or to reject the love that He offers to all.

You and I likewise cannot, and will not, win every heart. There will always be those who will fail you, and mislead you, and hurt you. You and I are human… and so are they. But what did Jesus Himself say, concerning this? It’s found here, in Luke 6:27-38:

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

And as we would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise.

For if ye them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to recieve as much again.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

So now, I think it’s only fair of us to ask ourselves, have we been a “true” friend, in the manner that Jesus would have us to be?!
I know that I haven’t always been.

Do I return “good” for the “evil” done to me…?! I have to say, most (if not all!) of the time, I do not. But Jesus tells us very plainly, yet very sweetly, that if we are only a true friend back to those who are indeed true friends to us, we are really no different than those false friends… for they would treat others in the same fashion!

It’s easy for me to feel loving and sweet and giving towards someone who I know for a fact loves me in return. But Jesus is trying to point out to us that if that’s how we respond, we’re only demonstrating our old human nature! Not the Spirit of Christ working in our lives…!

Yes, being a true friend must go beyond the natural. It must continue with the supernatural: the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.

img_0009.jpgRachel Marie is a sweet young lady who loves the Lord with all her heart. She is keenly interested in the study of biblical womanhood and authored a well-noted article, Just a Girl Through & Through. Along with her gift of writing, her hobbies also include photography, flowers, sewing and a host of other avenues she uses to vent her creativity. Her heart beat is missions with a particular love for China.

Contact:
lajiemarie@gmail.com
www.lajiemarie.blogspot.com  

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