Posted by: Jo | June 1, 2012

A Friend of Jesus

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…” (John 15:15)

imageBeing a friend of someone has taken on a whole new meaning since the advent of social media. Now with a click of the mouse we can add a friend to our already bulging list of friends on Facebook, and it is not only the young indulging in this addictive communicating with others. I read with great interest the results of a recent survey that showed that 53% of people over 75 were users of Facebook. Thanks to my eldest granddaughter, who was able to unravel for me all the secrets of the mystery of how to participate, I at the ripe old age of 77, fall into that category. Even though I have enjoyed catching up with old friends, I was thinking wistfully of how the word, “friend”, has now lost its deepest meaning. When we boast of having hundreds of friends through this avenue, we weaken the very meaning of “friend”. The other interesting statistic I also noted about this topic was a similar survey where people were asked the number of best friends they could name in their lives. The number had dropped considerably from a similar survey 5 years before and the conclusion being that we are becoming more isolated from each other as technology replaces face-to-face communication. Chatting online pales in comparison to seeing that dear friend’s face breaking into laughter, or equally, sharing tears, with mutual understanding of each other.image

The timeless wisdom of Scripture always reminds us of the best way we function and the book of Proverbs in particular has lots to say about what makes a true friend;

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

All of us need that friend who will love us despite of ourselves. We all need a special person we can trust when chaotic circumstances upset our lives. We all need to be that special person when our own friend needs us.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Companion is a lame substitute for friend. We need to be able to distinguish between the two and perhaps Facebook should have used companion instead of friend so any blurring of what true friendship means would not have occurred.

One of the most telling descriptions of what it means to be a friend occurs in Proverbs 27:6,

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Only a true and trusted friend is able to lovingly point out something wrong in one’s life. It is easy to listen to flattery, even false advice from one who does not love you deeply as only a true friend can, and again we need to be able to distinguish between the two. It takes great courage and a lot of prayer to step into somebody’s life when we can see trouble looming ahead for a dear friend. It takes equal courage to listen to those who love us when we need to examine a part of our own lives.

imageWhen we delve into what constitutes a good friend we are suddenly able to grasp the enormous privilege offered to us in Jesus’ words, “…Instead, I have called you friends…” (John 15:15) No need to worry if we will be confirmed as his friend. He has issued an open invitation to all who would follow him and blesses us with these words, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16) His friendship will last forever. No need to worry that he has so many friends you may be deleted at any moment. He cares about every detail of your life. No need to worry that fervent prayer was blocked from him. He hears every cry of his beloved ones and responds with loving comfort.

Jesus is the supreme example of the perfect friend and exhibited this in these words;

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12 – 13)

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Responses

  1. In knowing you Jo , I recognise real friendship and thank the lord for our introduction. much love Jennifer

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  2. Thank you once more dear friend for your thought provoking words. It seems to me that when we get to know people really well they become our friends. I suppose then we should get to know Jesus as well as we can so that we will enjoy His friendship.
    Love, Mary.

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  3. A wise view of the Facebook world we live in – and even wiser, considering our Friend Jesus as the always true one.

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  4. “Only a true and trusted friend is able to lovingly point out something wrong in one’s life” – so true, and Jesus does this best, as you point out. A great reminder too of the importance of cultivating intimacy/honesty in relationships.

    Like


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