A rewarding study on the topic of “friends” from the book of Proverbs is a fascinating example of how thorough and deep the revelation of God is concerning every facet of our human existence. Our Lord leaves no stone unturned for living life well, and the topic of friends is just one example: who they are, what they are and how they impact our lives.
Coming from the Old Testament, the maxims and principles in this book of wisdom come to life in Jesus. He lived the sinless life and presented a perfect pattern for friendship. What is phenomenal is His affirmation that He is our Friend. Stunning! God is our friend.
The concept is not new to God’s children though. It is not as if God transitioned from the Old Testament to the New Testament and became a different God; to the contrary, He has always desired a relationship with His creation to both give and receive love. The Lord spoke to Moses “as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). The Chronicler cites the land of Israel as a gift He gave to “the descendants of Abraham your friend” (2 Chronicles 20:7; cf. Isaiah 41:8).
In the New Testament, Jesus lives the friend role flawlessly. It was predicted eons before the reality of the relationship, calling Judas a friend: “Even my old familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9; cf. Matthew 26:50). John the Immerser understood the relationship he had with the Lord, calling himself a “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29). Christ’s conduct was so conspicuous that even His enemies called Him a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34), which He did not deny, calling Lazarus “our friend” (John 11:11).
Long before the Byrds or Doobie Brothers decided that “Jesus, He’s my friend,” Jesus has been there for anyone who wishes to have the perfect friend.