Being a Friend to All
Bible Reading: Mark 10:46-52
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” Mark 10:49
Makoto knew there was going to be a new student in his class, but he had no idea this person would roll into the room in a wheelchair. Makoto had really never known anyone who was handicapped before, and he felt a little uncomfortable around Derrick. Apparently, so did the rest of his classmates, because the only person who even spoke to Derrick all morning was Mrs. Davis.
In the cafeteria that day, Makoto noticed that Derrick was eating all alone. The new kid glanced up at Makoto and his friends and made eye contact with Makoto.
“Hey, you guys,” Makoto whispered to the group with him, “why don’t we go sit with the new guy?” His friends rolled their eyes at him and asked if he was kidding, then took their lunch trays and walked to the far side of the room. Makoto just stood there, not sure if he wanted to pay the price of doing right.
Jesus was the perfect example of love. And one of the huge characteristics we see in him is that he loved everyone, no matter who they were, what they looked like, or what their problems were. Jesus loved everybody—even those not welcomed by the people around him. He ministered to blind beggars, dishonest tax gatherers, cruel Roman soldiers, and stuffy religious leaders. He was a friend to the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, adults and little kids, those who believed in him, and even those who didn’t. He surrounded himself with people of a variety of backgrounds, stories, and needs . . . and he loved them all.
Jesus loved everyone because he knew that all people are God’s handiwork. As he looked into people’s eyes and saw the creative touch of his Father, he acknowledged their value and worth.
Jesus said that other people would know Christians by the love we show for one another. Since God is our heavenly Father, we should be able to see, like Jesus did, his handiwork in everyone we meet. This doesn’t mean that we will always like everybody or be best friends with everyone. But we can treat them all as valuable in the sight of God.
The next time you bump into someone different from you, focus on how God made that person according to his perfect plan to bring himself glory and honor. Get to know that person. Determine what makes him or her special. And dream of all the unique ways God can use that person. That’s loving like Jesus loves.
TALK: Is there someone you know who is in special need of love? How can you show Christ’s love to this person?
PRAY: God, help us see value in everyone we meet, because you created them in your image.
ACT: Share God’s love with a person in need this week—even if that person is very different from you.