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Subject: Christian Religious Studies
Lesson Objectives: At the end of the lesson, learners should be able to:
i. Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy friendship,
ii. Enumerate types of friendship,
iii. Identify characteristics of good and bad friendships.
Friendship is a state of two people being emotionally attached to one another out of affection. It is also a relationship that exists from a liking two people have for each other. Friendship is a warm and close friendship, which one has with the person one likes or trusts.
Jesus during his earthly ministry had close relationship with his disciples and some other people following Him.
The Friendship Between Jesus, Martha And Mary (Luke 10:32 – 42)
The relationship between Jesus, Martha and Mary was cordial.
When Jesus entered into the village where Mary and Martha lived, Martha received him into her house. Martha had a sister Mary, who sat at Jesus feet listening to his teachings. But Martha was distracted with much serving,wanted to please her friend Jesus. Martha asked Jesus that if he did not care that her sister Mary assist her in serving. She asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her. But Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many thing, one thing is needful. Mary had chosen the good portion, which cannot be taken from her”.
Friendship Between Jesus And Lazarus
Lazarus of Bethany was a brother to Mary and Martha. They were all Jesus close friends. Lazarus was ill. His sister sent messages to inform Jesus that Lazarus whom he loved was ill. Jesus said that the illness would not end in death rather, it was to glorify God. Mary and Martha expected that Jesus would come immediately because of the closeness of Jesus to them. But Jesus stayed two days longer when he heard what happened Jesus informed his disciples that Lazarus had fallen asleep. He said that he was going to wake him up. The disciples said that if he has fallen asleep, then he would be alright. They did not understand the expression as being dead. Jesus told them that Lazarus was dead. Thomas called on his fellow disciples that they should go with Jesus to die with him.
Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days before Jesus arrived. Jesus had come to console Mary and Martha. Martha met Jesus and said, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Jesus told her that her brother would rise again. Martha said that would be in the day of resurrection. Jesus said that he was the resurrection and the life, anybody who believed in him, though he died yet shall live. Jesus asked if Martha believed what he said about himself. Martha said that she believe Jesus as the Christ, the son of God. Martha called Mary who said to Jesus “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. When Jesus saw her weeping, he was moved and asked where Lazarus was laid. It was shown to Jesus and he went. Jesus ordered that the stone at the mouth of the tomb should be rolled off.
Jesus thanked God for answered prayers. He called out in a loud voice and the dead man came out alive. Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed.
Types of Friendship (John 6:60 – 71)
There are different types of friendship. Friends relate at different levels with one another. Some friendships are ultimate/close (confidants). Some are not close, while others are acquaintance, that is, people you know and greet but do not share confidences with.
Friendship seeks to help people have a close view of one another with understanding and self-awareness. It helps people to serve as checks and balances for one another and this in turn helps them to evaluate themselves better.
After Jesus teachings on being the living bread, many of his disciples took offence at his teaching of being the living bread. Jesus knew that they found it difficult to understand him. He said to them, “Do you take offence at this? Then what if you were to see the son ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that did not believe”. Jesus knew from the first those that did not believe and who would betray him. Jesus told them that no one can come to him unless God granted such one understanding. So many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve disciples do you also wish to go away? Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words eternal life and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy one of God”.
Jesus told his disciples that he was the one that choose them and that one of them was a devil. He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus knew those who were his real followers.
Characteristics Of Good and Bad Friends
The following characteristics should be found in a good friendship: forgiveness, trust, loyalty, ability to keep confidence, co-operation, honesty, shared interests, support during good and bad times, reliability, empathy, respect, understanding, affection, sympathy, practicing active listening skills, establishing eye contact with the other person, learning to listen without interruption. All these characteristics will enhance good friendship.
Characteristics of bad friendships are gossiping, disclosing to others confidential information, bullying, backbitting, cheating, loss of trust, disrespect, misunderstanding, incompatibility, ignoring the other person except he/she needs something from him/her, greed and selfishness, ganging up against friends, pressuring one into wrongful act e.g smoking, stealing, lying, etc, on the part of one of the parties.
Judas Iscariot is a good example of a bad friend, he betrayed Jesus by collecting money from the enemies of Jesus.
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Take a quick test for this lesson
i. Discuss types of friendship with biblical examples.
ii. List the characteristics of good and bad friends.
iii. Explain the relationship between Jesus, Mary and Martha.
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