The Mount of Olives is on the eastern side of Jerusalem. It was a favorite place for Jesus. He went there many times at night and before dawn, often to pray to His Father. Usually when the Bible mentions that Jesus is there, it is a signal that something important is about to happen. In the Gospel today, He is there once again before leaving in the quiet of the early morning to go down into Jerusalem.
There are a lot of ways to define what we mean when we are talking about a good friend. One that is very useful when we muse about things of God is this:
A good friend always lets you in and never lets you down.
A good friend listens to you, and opens up and tells you things and doesn’t shut you out. A good friend always supports you and provides aid when you need it. A good friend never uses you. You know you can always count on someone who is a truly good friend.
The Law governing the Jews given to Moses by God did prescribe death for anyone who committed adultery. So the woman and everyone else involved knew that she was in a very bad situation. And by demanding that Jesus judge the situation, the scribes and Pharisees tried to use the woman to put Jesus in a bind as well. But what none of them got is that the woman had really gained a very good friend.
We’re told that Jesus insisted that the woman’s accusers render judgment if they were worthy to judge her, they weren’t. With no witnesses to accuse her, case closed.
But Jesus wasn’t done. He offers her encouragement, a way to move ahead. ‘Go and sin no more’ He tells her. Go out into a world of possibilities with a fresh start, with release from the weight of sin.We fail Him but He never fails us. Jesus always let us in, into His heart. No matter what we’ve done or failed to do. He never cuts us off, He never ignores us, He always welcomes. Neither does Jesus let us down. He can want nothing other than what is best for us. So the truth is that Jesus is the best friend we can ever have. Too few people realize this, and that is too bad because Jesus is always ready be our friend.
When Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, He often spoke directly with God the Father. He didn’t say prayers, He simply spoke with God.

It’s still Lent. It is still a time of preparation for Easter, the greatest gift ever offered to usredemption from our sins by the sacrifice the Son of God made for you and me. If you’re not as friendly with Jesus as you think you should be, ask Him to let you in and see what happens. You don’t even have to go to the Mount of Olives.

Deacon Greg Osgood