Jesus – a Friend

by A. R. Wright

Below is the next in our series of articles written by A. R. Wright for children and young people (perhaps most suitable for 8-13 year olds, though of course beneficial to us all). They are shared with the permission of his (the Donnelly) family.

If you have a bit more time on your hands than normal, why not sit down with your children and read this to them? Or record a video message of you reading this story and send it to your grandchildren if you are unable to see them in person?

When Charles Kingsley[1] was asked what the secret of his success was, he replied in the significant words, “I had a friend.” It is a great matter to have an earthly friend, but it is an infinitely greater matter to have the Heavenly Friend- Jesus Christ the greatest of all friends. We propose dealing with this subject in the form of an acrostic. That is to say we intend taking the letters of the word friend and using them to form the initial letters of adjectives descriptive of Jesus as Friend.

  1. He is a Faithful Friend

There have been many so-called friends in the past, who in the hour of need have proved unfaithful. Jesus Christ, however, is ever faithful and true to His people. He was faithful to them in eternity when He entered into covenant on their behalf. He was faithful to them on the cross when He sealed that covenant with His blood. He is faithful to them throughout life with all its trials and temptations. He is faithful to them in death so that they need have no fear. Earthly friends may forsake. Jesus never forsakes. When President Edwards[2] was on his deathbed his last words, after bidding his relations farewell, were, “Now where is Jesus of Nazareth my true and never failing friend?” And when these words were uttered he passed away. (see Psalm 23:4)

  • He is a Rich Friend

You may know how pleasant it is to have a friend who is rich and generous. And how true this is of our Heavenly Friend. He has infinite resources, and He loves his children to come to Him in prayer and receive the gifts which He offers. Think of some of these gifts; pardon for sin, provision in time of need, protection in the hour of danger. He gives at all times- not merely at Christmas- and his gifts have to do with the future life as well as with the present life. When our friends die, they sometimes leave us an inheritance. When we ourselves die, Jesus gives us an inheritance. As children of God we are heirs. We may be poor materially, but we are not poor spiritually. We are rich spiritually. Christ gives us a title to the Heavenly Home.

  • He is an Invisible Friend

When he was here on earth Jesus was visible. But now He is ascended into Heaven. We cannot see Him, and yet he is none the less real. We cannot see the wind, and yet we know that it is there. We cannot see such things as faith, courage and love, and yet we know that these virtues are very real. And so, although we cannot see Christ yet we should endeavor to realize that He is always present. We should seek to be conscious of His presence when we are going about our daily tasks as well as when we are worshipping Him in the sanctuary.

  • He is an Eminent Friend

How often we speak of eminent men in history; eminent poets, eminent statesman, eminent leaders. There have been eminent people in the past, but never was there one so eminent as Jesus Christ. He remains distinct from all men. He was eminent as a man- He was entirely sinless. And then, He was not only Man he was also God, truly human, truly Divine. In all these lessons about the Savior we never overlook the fact that He was, and is, God as well as Man.

  • He is a Near Friend

Many of our earthly friends are far away. Perhaps some of them live in lands across the sea, and so in our hour of need they are of very little service. Jesus Christ, however, is everywhere present and always near at hand. He is a very present help at all times and especially in times of trouble. He is always accessible, always by our side. He’s near to all that call on Him, who call in truth on Him alone.[3]

  • He is a Dear Friend

We have all, no doubt, many whom we call our friends. But there are always a select few whom we called “dear” friends. Now Christ, to the true Believer, is the dearest of all friends, the fairest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely One.[4] Read the letters of Samuel Rutherford, and you will see how dear Christ was to that eminent saint of God. “Unto you therefore which believe He is precious.”[5]

Young people, we have been talking about Jesus as Friend. Have we been introduced to Him? Are we trusting in Him? If so, we shall love to be in His company, to serve Him, to obey Him.  “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command.”[6]

[1] Church of England clergyman, professor, author. (d. 1875)

[2] Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).

[3] Psalm 145:18.

[4] Song of Solomon 5:10, 16.

[5] 1 Peter 2:7.

[6] John 15:14.

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