The Scottish National Party (SNP) is struggling as the bitter row between its former leader, Alex Salmond, and current leader, Nicola Sturgeon threatens to damage the party for years to come. It’s a classic example of what can happen when a friend becomes an enemy. Salmond and Sturgeon were great friends, united in their passion for Scottish independence, but they’ve fallen out and the hatred they feel for each other is clear to see.

 

The Bible has more than one relationship that didn’t work out as it should. The first two sons of Adam and Eve were Cain and Abel. There’s no law that says brothers have to get on even if they’re brought up together, but a bitterness developed in Cain’s heart against his brother, so bad that he killed him. This was the world’s first murder, and also its second recorded sin. The first sin was carried out by Cain’s parents in the Garden of Eden where they ate forbidden fruit. If you ever thought that sin was trivial, it led to murder.

 

Joseph was a son favoured by his father Jacob, so much so that his brothers hated him. When they had opportunity they sold him into slavery, and told their father he’d been killed by a wild animal. Can you imagine that? In selling him they took away his dignity and committed him to a life of servitude, the property of strangers to be treated however they saw fit. They must really have hated him.

 

David was a great king of Israel. Saul, who was king before him, had been a bad man but David was the man that God chose, a good king who looked after his people. That didn’t stop his son Absolom from conducting a coup. For a time David lost his throne and had to leave Israel for his own safety. His own son hated him and wanted him dead. I guess many of us parents have upset our children at times but they wouldn’t want us dead. David, from what we know, had done nothing to upset Absolom.

 

Jesus had a number of disciples who travelled everywhere with him. They watched his miracles, listened to his words, saw that the religious leaders couldn’t hold a candle to him when it came to a knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Jesus even gave his disciples the ability to perform miracles themselves. It didn’t make much difference to Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. He conspired with the authorities to hand Jesus over to them, and on a night when he knew Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane he led a company of soldiers there to arrest him. As he betrayed him Jesus said, “Do what you came for, friend.” (1) Not even Jesus could trust a friend.

 

Is there anyone we can trust? Is there anyone who won’t turn against us? Brother, son, friend, the Bible shows that no relationship can be trusted, except one. There is one relationship that works perfectly, one person who will never disappoint, and that is Jesus. Jesus has a love for us, so strong that it brought him from heaven to die for us. What’s remarkable is that our sins had made us his enemy. The Bible clearly says, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.” (2) We had turned against God, just as much as Judas, but that didn’t affect Jesus’ love for us, and it didn’t stop his decision to take the punishment for us. He suffered and died as a result of our sins and has invited us to trust him, follow him and be his friends. Choosing to follow Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made. He constantly loves me, never fails me, never rejects me, and looks after me every day. I trust him. What about you?

 

Bible References:

  • Matthew 26:50
  • Colossians 1:21