Three Friends

Saturday, Aug. 1

Immediately after the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus proceeded to give them what we call “the Lord’s prayer.” I won’t go into detail on the prayer, but you will notice that it is short, yet covers all the facets of prayer. I would like to call your attention to what immediately follows. The subject is still prayer. It’s in the form of a parable and involves three people. A man has a friend coming, evidently with little notice, and has no bread to feed him. So he goes to a friend whom he is sure will loan him the bread, although it is midnight. His friend is reluctant to give him the bread because of the late hour. Because his friend persists, however, he eventually comes through with the bread. The inference is clear. The reluctant friend is God, the Father. His friend in need might be any one of us. The friend coming from afar is possibly an unbeliever. My problem with this is the Father is pictured as a bit selfish, although he eventually gives the bread. My problem is solved when Jesus gives the punch line in vv. 11-13. The key phrase is “how much more.” Jesus had already spoken about human fathers that give good things to their children. Then the parable speaks of a friend who is reluctant to give under adverse circumstances. Here’s the key issue. God the Father, is NOT like that. Don’t compare Him with a human father, not even a good one. This is contrast. My problem is solved. We can ask anything at any time, and the Father will not fail to meet the need.

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