Benefits of Friendliness and Friendship
Good morning. A friend loves at all times. Our text this morning is from Luke 7:1-10. Please take the time to read the text. It contains a number of lessons about the results of friendliness and friendship. Rome had soldiers stationed all over its empire for the purpose of keeping peace and enforcing law. Capernaum had a large Jewish population and was the city from which Jesus conducted his tours and local work. Stationed here was a centurion, a man placed over a hundred other men. Whether his superiors realized or not, he was a very special man. As a Roman soldier, especially as a centurion, he had seen the worst side of society in his responsibility to keep the peace. As a centurion, he had participated in brutal training and proven himself in battle. He had to be a firm disciplinarian of his own band and in performing his duties. Yet, it is obvious he never forgot the value of a human being. He treated the Jews with respect. He learned to love those who were his servants. He befriended those around him. He was both a friendly man and a friend despite his position of authority. Notice please the following results of his friendliness toward others.
Because of his love and friendship with his servant, he was in anguish over his illness. Their friendship translated into action. I have no doubt that physicians had already been consulted. Don’t you imagine that this servant had rendered diligent service because of his master’s character.
His friendliness and openness to other people made him aware of things that were going on in their lives. For example, though Jesus was a Jew and not working among the Gentiles, this centurion had listened and heard of him and had believed in Him. How many of us even know the name of our neighbors 2 or 3 doors down. When you find a person who does seem to “know everyone,” you nearly always find a friendly person.
He, a Gentile, felt comfortable asking the Jews for help. His spirit and kindnesses toward them had opened doors closed to the average Gentile. Friendliness today can open many doors. The Jews were more than willing to seek the help of Jesus on his behalf. This was not out of fear or for political positioning. They said the centurion was “worthy” because of his love for the Jewish nation.
Someone cared for him enough that they accompanied the group to Jesus and then carried the message to the centurion that the master was on his way. That is the only way the centurion could have stopped Jesus before he got to his house.
The centurion had other friends (v. 6) who were willing to take time to do his bidding in taking a second message to Jesus that the centurion knew it would not be necessary for Jesus to come to the sick man.
Finally, the centurion’s faith made him a friend of Jesus and brought about the healing of his servant.
Friends, friendship has many bonuses in its returns. Let’s be friendly and let’s be a friend to those around us. Be called a friend of God.