Most of the time, people make claims that are not true, just to impress you and at the very first opportunity that does not fit their plans, they will betray what their mouth have declared by the things they do. My brother, my sister, God is not impressed by what we claim or say with our mouth. And what really defines a person is not what they say but what comes from their heart : “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34). And you never really know what is in someone’s heart, do you? Therefore, we need to be careful in calling everyone our friend because the truth of the matter is that not everyone that says good things to you is necessarily an acquaintance that is good for you. You know, a real friend will be there for you in good or bad times; a real friend will contribute to your growth by being truthful to you about you, by pushing you forward and encouraging you to do the right thing, even at the risk of upsetting you. A real friend will keep it real with you because they love you even when you don’t love yourself!
In today’s passage, Jesus is riding on the back of a donkey, making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Many people welcome Him with great joy believing that He is the One that will deliver them from their Roman oppressors. Yes, they even lay out their coats and palms on the road that he will travel down as an act of respect and shout out, “the crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (verse 9)
My friend, that’s how people will act with you when they pretend to be your friends and assume things about you when they actually don’t mean them or when they don’t know who you really are. As long as they thought that Jesus would get them out of oppression, the crowd cheered Him. Yes, how many people are your good friends because of your car, your social status, your availability, your kindness? Now, if you read on, you see that, some four days later, the same people who welcomed Jesus, blessing His name, would deny Jesus after He’s been lied on and falsely accused after He was betrayed by a so-called friend, Judas. Yes, some of the very people that claim to be your friends could sell you out, abandon you or reject you… and even join your enemies to help them crucify you just like the crowd joined Jesus’ enemies.
My friend, ensure you know who you call your friends. But remember that Jesus said “I have called you friends” (John 15:15) and as such, He gave all for us: He accepted to suffer that we might be saved. He accepted to suffer that we might be healed. He was crucified, but it was our sins that kept Him on that cross, where He died so that today we might experience the peace that comes through His shed blood. My friend, what a friend we have in Jesus! Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.