Rob here. I love John 13-17 when Jesus pours out his heart to his disciples soon before he embarks on the lonely journey to Calvary. Jesus teaches, implores, inspires, serves and loves in this amazingly rich insight into the depths of his heart.
In John 15:12-17 (TNIV) he says this: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned form my Father I have made known to you…This is my command: Love each other.”
We show that we are friends of Jesus when we love with his love. We are also friends because Jesus has shared with us from the heart of the Father. He has trusted us with his heart. But what kind of a friend are you, generally speaking? I admit, I’m not a terribly pro-active friend. I don’t ring my friends for chats or remember birthdays (Facebook has helped!) or send many ‘how are you’ emails. This may be a guy thing! It may also be a lazy thing. I meet weekly with a few friends for prayer and breakfast but many of my friends are spread far and wide all over the globe, and I don’t initiate a lot of contact.
What does this mean for my friendship with Jesus? I know that I’ve been guilty in the past of waiting for Jesus to contact me. I’ve not initiated contact. But there have been times when Jesus and I sat up all night as I worked through something painful; I have cried out to him when all has seemed hopeless; I have worshipped him; I have questioned him and I am slowly learning to hang out with him.
I say that because my main style of doing friendship is hanging out. Playing a round of golf, going to a sports game, sharing a barbecue together, going for a beer (oops, I mean coffee – ok, both!) are the ways I enjoy my friends. If I am to develop my friendship with Jesus I have to learn to hang out with him, like I hang out my friends, and enjoy his company.
I had a day off yesterday and did nothing. I needed it as I had worked 2 weeks solid. But doing nothing means nothing if I don’t do nothing with Jesus! I intentionally acknowledged his presence with me as I read his word, checked golf results online, read a book, drank a coffee, hung out the washing, lay on my bed resting. You get the picture. I’ve done this while running, shopping, watching TV and it has deepened the friendship significantly. Not because I’ve allowed Jesus to join in on what I’ve been doing, but because He has loved me while I’ve been me. He has smiled upon my heart enjoyed the way I do friendship.
Now, this is my story not yours. How do you do friendship? Are you allowing your friendship with Jesus to develop in this natural way, or are you trying to be friends with Jesus in a way that is just not you?
He has called you friend. Rest in that; be yourself with him and you will find yourself becoming more alive and more you as you enjoy his presence in your life.
Here’s my favourite friendship song; Lean on Me. Imagine Jesus singing this over you. Shalom.