â€œLift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.â€ (Isaiah 40:26)
by Dr. John D. Morris, Ph.D.
he hymn â€œJesus! What a Friend for Sinnersâ€ mentions the frequent failure of our friends and the persistent opposition of our enemies. Conversely, Jesus Christ, who loves us completely, never fails. â€œFor he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake theeâ€ (Hebrews 13:5).
Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.
The hymnist was not writing for believers only but also for those who still reject Godâ€™s gift of salvation. Jesus loves them and came to Earth on their behalf. A favorite Scripture reminds us â€œfor God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting lifeâ€ (John 3:16). Abraham was one of those who loved and believed God, â€œand it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of Godâ€ (James 2:23).
Christ taught His disciples that He would soon die, but they didnâ€™t believe. Jesus taught them that â€œgreater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friendsâ€ (John 15:13), and â€œye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command youâ€ (v. 14). They were growing in the understanding that He was God Himself. â€œHenceforth I call you not servants . . . but I have called you friendsâ€ (John 15:15).
Later, John wrote they were more than friends. â€œBehold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of Godâ€ (1 John 3:1). JDM