I love the passage that says: “Abraham was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23). That is a title that I truly would like to mark my brief passage on this earth.
In pondering that phrase, I realized that there is an even greater title that could be given. Jesus, when He walked the earth, wasn’t as popular as one might think that He was. It seemed that MANY people had a problem with how He acted. Jesus, in His own words said of Himself;
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’(Luke 7:34)
Did He say ‘friend of sinners’? Acquainted with sin is one thing, but “friend”?
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
What was Jesus thinking!? Could it be that His mission trip to this earth may not have been to build big cathedrals with stained glass windows that hold groups of people who never will smell like ‘sinners’; even though they are full of ‘them’.
Jesus was saying that He came to call sinners, to repentance, not the righteous to some private club. (See Matthew 9:13) And to do that He was a friend to sinners.
The word ‘friend’ is translated philos (fee'-los) which basically means; “Properly dear, that is, a friend; actively fond, that is, friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.): - friend.”
Wow; no wonder why so many were moved by His love towards them. No wonder why so many of His followers were imperfect, broken, thirsty people longing to be cared for and loved.
“Friend of sinners”; that would be the same as being a friend of God. That is a title that I truly would like to mark my brief passage on this earth.
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."