Friendship with Jesus

          Proverbs 27:6 (NIV) reads, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” A friend will always try have your best interests in mind, even if it might not seem like it in given moments. However, a self-interested friend will probably try to be overly affectionate to avert suspicion. Matthew 26:48-50 (NIV) say, “Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him.” Jesus replies to Judas’ introduction by saying, “Do what you came for, friend.”

The world is going to tell you to, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” This quote implies that people need to have their enemies by their side because of their own self-interests and preservation. In Matthew 26:50, the Greek root word for “friend” that Jesus uses is hetairos—a self-interested companion, an imposter, a fake friend.[i] Jesus using the word “hetairos” indicates that He was trying to do the same thing, right? False! Jesus does not act like the world because He is not of this world. (John 17:14) If Jesus kept Judas around because of self-preservation then He would have stopped His arrest and avoided His crucifixion. Jesus wasn’t naïve regarding Judas. He purely loved God and His commandments above all else.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus taught one of God’s commands when He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him, yet He washed his dirty feet and lovingly guided him to God by example and through correction.[ii] Jesus knew that loving God and obeying His commands was the only way to be victorious over evil. (Romans 8:31-39)

Everyone has the opportunity to become conquerors over all things by bathing in the waters of baptism and being close friends with Christ. In John 15:14 Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Jesus made God His first priority and put His interests above any kind of selfishness. Every day you can choose to love God and obey His commands with the compassionate strength that Jesus did, but only if you are willing to be a true friend of His.



[i] Jesus also uses this word to describe Judas in two other instances: Matthew 20:13 and Matthew 22:12.

[ii] An example of Jesus correcting Judas is in John 12:1-11