What would it be like to be friends with someone really famous? What would it be like to be friends with the president of the United States? Better yet, what would it be like to be friends with every president of every influential country around the world? Imagine the sway you could hold over some of the most important decision makers of our time. Think of what it must be like to be in the know in regards to all of the policy decisions made each and every day, not to mention the popularity such friendships would bring.
You might expect that to be friends with that many world leaders would require some background in politics or at least some ability in public relations. But what if it were just you or me, just an average, everyday person with a family, a normal job, and a normal life who was friends with the most important people in the world? Or even better, what if you were friends with someone even more important…say the Creator of the entire universe?
It is not heresy to say that we can call ourselves friends of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s God himself who says we have this friendship and it is the most intimate and impactful thing we have as Christians. No other religion in the world claims to have a god so interested in the well-being of its followers. But as Christians, as dearly beloved children of the one true God, we can know that our Creator wants that kind of relationship with us. Jesus seeks us and waits for us to invite him in as our friend (Revelation 3:20). And he doesn’t just pick you if your life is perfect either. He communes with even the worst of society (Matthew 11:19).
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
Jesus does offer this friendship freely and of his own accord, but like any friendship, it’s not simply one sided. Jesus will always love you even if you deny him, but he wishes that you would reciprocate that love. He asks that we…
- love one another (vs. 12)
- obey his commands (vs. 14)
- bear fruit in our lives (vs. 16)
His love and friendship should cause us to show that love to others. We have been given much so that we can give to others. Also, true friendship with Jesus means we accept him as our Lord and we obey him as a result. We don’t take advantage of his generosity and use it to do what we want. Finally, a friendship with Jesus will manifest fruit in our lives. You can’t spend time with the vine and not bear the fruits of love, mercy, and peace (John 15:1-10).
I know it would seem great to be friends with all the important leaders from around our world. It seems as if they hold the kind of clout we would love to be a part of. But there’s nothing like having a friendship with Jesus, the one friend who will always love us even more than we could love ourselves.