Jesus, Friend or Acquaintance?
A friend that sticks closer than a brother
What a Friend!
There is an old hymn that I love dearly it goes something like this, "What a friend we have in Jesus" Wow! What a song and what a statement, to have a one on one relationship with the supreme creator. For some this is an incomprehensible situation, how can you be friends with someone whom you can't see? Other's are quick to point out the great sacrifice that Jesus made by dying for us at calvary and how that anyone making such a sacrifice is far above you and I and must be looked upon as such. Yet Jesus came to earth looking for friendship with his creation, just look at what Jesus has to say about friendship,
John 15:13 (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus proved that he had that Great love for us when he hung on the cross at Calvary. But is that where his friendship ended? Certainly not, God has always desired fellowship with man, Proverbs tells that God's friendship is closer than we can ever image,
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
How about that? As the old saying goes, "blood is thicker than water" yet the bible tells us that he is closer than family. But do we regard Jesus as a true friend?
How well do you know him?
People like to know people, especially important or famous people. Because when they "know" people that gives them bragging rights. "I know Michelle Obama." But do they really know the first lady or do they just merely know of her? If you were to ask any stranger on the street today if they knew Jesus Christ they would more than like tell you; well of course I know Jesus, who doesn't?
Yet do they really know Jesus, or have they just heard about him and all the great things he's done? If a person really "knew" Michelle Obama, depending on how well they knew her, they would most likely have direct communication links to her such as phone numbers and email addresses. When they approached her in public she would recognize them and call them by their first name and give them the best seat in the house. She would casually go and visit them at their home and invite them for dinner at the White house. They would be able to speak openly with her anytime they chose ( her schedule permitting of course)no appointment necessary.
When people come to me claiming to know Jesus I usually respond with a round of questions,
"Really? When did you last talk to him, when's the last time he spoke to you, when were you at his house last, and when is the last time he was at your house?"
At this point they normally begin to back away, muttering something about me being out of my mind, yet these are very valid questions. Jesus is not just some fictional character who lives only in myth or legend; Jesus my dear friends is alive and well,he is as real as you and I. He is a congenial God who loves us, his children and longs to have a close and intimate relationship with us. Just listen to what he has to say on the subject:
Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is a true open door policy with God
Revelation 3:8 (KJV)
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
No appointment necessary
When I was growing up I had a dear best friend, we were inseparable and shared everything. Clothes, shoes, cash, and we did so as we felt like it. Never asking or arranging we were just there and did what needed to be done. We shared all our secrets, fears and worries. As we matured we went on double dates together and got into a lot of trouble together. There is nothing like having a trusted friend whom you can always count on.
Believe it or not Jesus is just such a friend, regardless of what some say you don't need a go between to speak to Jesus for you. Jesus is always there and always a good friend who will never lead you into trouble but will always be there to get you out.
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 John 2:1 (KJV)
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Friends only go so far, Jesus will go with you to the end and no matter how rough it gets Jesus will have your back.
Psalms 139:7-10 (KJV)
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Where do you, stand friend or acquaintance?
So now we cut to the chaff, when it comes to the Lord Jesus Christ are you a true friend or merely a casual acquaintance? Do you use Christ as a social status symbol, "I go the first church of faux knowledge; you should come everybody who's anybody goes there." Perhaps you use knowing Jesus as a selling tool to further your career and / or business, " This is a Christian owned business, I am a Christian business person." Maybe you are a fair weather friend, you use the Lord to get you out of the latest mess you've gotten yourself into and then you go on about your business until you need him again. Kinda like those family members you only see when they come to borrow money. God's word says that if you say that you are a friend of God but refuse to heed his word you are a liar.
1 John 2:3-4 (KJV)
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Improving the relationship
If you read this hub and you feel that your relationship is lacking and that you haven't been as good a friend as you should have to the Lord; take heart. God has provided a way.
Acts 2:37-41 (KJV)
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Once you have followed the above formula for salvation you and your friendship with God are brand new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Have you ever wished " Oh if I could just do my life over again, I would do it differently." Well by becoming a new creature in Christ you can do it over and this time do it right!
This hub is brought to you in the Name of Jesus Christ,
Acts 4:12 (KJV)
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.