Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of May 20, 2007

1 Chronicles 27:33 And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion. (See also 2 Samuel 15:37 and 2 Samuel 16:16)

Matthew 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

Some say that if you have one good friend in a lifetime, that you are a fortunate person. Friends are people that you can trust. The Bible says that if we are going to have friends we must be a friend (Proverbs 18:24). David had at least two friends. One was Jonathan, Saul’s son. One was Hushai who helped him during Absalom’s rebellion.

The Lord had several people who were his friends. Mary, Martha and Lazarus mentioned in John 11 were the Lord’s friends. When the Lord was told that the one he loved was sick, the word used is the word for the love of a friend. No doubt Mary Magdalene was considered a friend, and I am sure that the rest of his disciples would have said that they were friends. But Judas who should have been a loyal friend was not. He was using the Lord to advance his own cause. He was the group’s treasurer and he was a thief (see John 12:6). Yet, in the garden as Judas was giving Him the kiss of betrayal, the Lord called him a friend.

Judas only pretended to be a friend. In the upper room when the Lord said one would betray him, the disciples all seemed to be asking if the Lord was speaking of them. Judas also asked if he was the one (see Matthew 26:22 and 25). The other disciples, who were true friends, no doubt realized that they had the potential to betray the Lord and, in Mark 14, they all appear to have doubts about themselves. In John 13, they may have had doubts about the other disciples. Judas acted just like the Lord’s true friends, but when he asked if he was the one, he wasn’t concerned about his possible weakness. Instead, he was checking to see if the Lord knew that he was the one who was going to betray Him. And even though the Lord knew and told Judas that He knew, that didn’t stop Judas. I do not believe that he expected the Lord to be hurt by his betrayal since he likely thought that the Lord would deliver Himself from the religious rulers. But, nevertheless, he didn’t love the Lord as a friend. He loved himself. When he found out that the Lord wasn’t going to deliver Himself out of the hands of those who wanted to crucify Him, he was sorry for what he had done (Matthew 27:3). But he was never the Lord’s friend.

I know that the Lord was a friend of publicans and sinners; but, usually when the Lord talks about his friends, he is talking about those who truly trust Him and those He can trust. When Simon Peter denied Him, he obviously was not trustworthy. But this was not his usual relationship with the Lord, and his failure apparently made him realize what a friend he had in the Lord. After Peter’s denial, he had a meeting with the Lord on the banks of the sea of Tiberias. He was able to say to the Lord, “Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.” The word Peter uses is the word for the love of a friend (John 21:17) The Lord then trusted him to take the Gospel first to the Jews in Acts 2 and then to the Gentiles in Acts 10. The Lord also used him as a trusted leader in the early church (Galatians 2:9).

How many of us who act like we are the Lord’s friends have really had our hearts touched by Him? Are we people who pretend to be His friend only when it benefits us? Are we spending time alone with Lord communing with Him as people do with their friends? Do we read the Book that He has sent to us in the same way that we would read a letter from a friend? Do we really love Him as a friend, or are we just using him like Judas did?

Bruce Collins

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