Friendship is hard. The blonde (aka as my wife) is my best friend. Beyond that friends, real friends can be hard to come by. I have one guy that I have always referred to as one of my best friends … but friends that love at all times (Proverbs 17:17) are for the most part hard to find and hard to keep and I’m not talking about Facebook friends.
Jesus says something strange and something that doesn’t attract many potential friends and maybe that was the point. I’m pretty sure Jesus never read Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People because in John 15:14 He says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Yikes! I think I’ll pass on that kind of demanding friendship.
If we are honest, we all have a friendship test. We like our friends to be crazy but not too crazy. They need to be good listeners, sincere, a giving person, not more successful than ourselves, not too quiet but someone that doesn’t talk too much, likeminded, pretty, but not prettier than us, financially secure but not more secure than us, blah, blah, blah … ring a bell?
We have all had short-lived friendships with people who were controlling ... creepy right? Jesus sounds more like a king than a friend in John 15:14, oh wait!? Jesus, while He was all man is also all God and last time I checked God was still a sovereign King and can pretty much do or say what He wants and in that sense God defines what a relationship with Himself looks like and we have to be good with that.
I have a friend who is a famous, celebrity pastor, he is on television, writes books and is on the radio all the time. If I said his name you would probably know it, but my friend says, “God loves you, now deal with it.”
That’s what this is really about, it’s really about love. I’m not sure which comes first, friendship or love for that new friend. What I do know is that love creates a desire in me to “do” things for my friends and this same dynamic is evident in my relationship with Christ. God loves me but the question might be do I love God? And if I do it emerges in my obedience to Him. Long live the King!
Earlier in that same passage Jesus says that there is no greater love than to give up your life for a friend. Jesus does not call His friends into death but rather into life, to live their lives for Him or maybe I should say we are to surrender our lives to Him so He can live through us. Can you imagine 30k plus Jesuses walking around our community? What a great place that would be to live!
What kind of a friend are you? He asked me to ask you that.