Perhaps one of the most scandalous truths in the Bible is that God desires relationship with us. We struggle to comprehend it. That an all powerful Creator would care about us as anything more than subservient subjects.
Yet Jesus told his disciples that he considered them friends! Not servants of some distant, all powerful Deity, demanding obedience and reverence. Or even employees working for a benevolent Boss. But friends. Confidants. Partners. Maybe even co-conspirators.
God delights in us so much that God desires our companionship. So lean in close and contemplate the wondrous and beautiful truth that you are a friend of Jesus.next >
You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.
John 15:16-17next >
Jesus knows his time with the disciples is drawing to an end. So he reminds them how their relationship began. They didn’t hold auditions for promising young messiahs and turn their chairs around for the one they liked best. They didn’t host a parable competition with religious leaders of the day and decide that Jesus’ were the most profound. He came to them!
He found James and John fishing with their dad. He chose Matthew when he was at work collecting taxes. And even though Nathanael came to meet Jesus with a friend, he arrived only to find that Jesus already knew him.
Choice is an important part of friendship. Knowing someone desires our friendship makes us feel loved. Jesus offers that to us and models how we can do the same for others. Who do you know that needs to be chosen?
Chad Senutanext >
Jesus, thank you for choosing me. Help me to be intentional about sharing your love with others. Help me to seek out those who are in need of my friendship and yours. Amen.next >
May relationship with God fill you with the delight of the One who delights in you.
May friendship with Jesus teach you to love, as you have been loved.
And may the companionship of the Holy Spirit free you to live and to share that which has been freely given.
Chad Senuta serves as the Associate for Youth and Campus Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. He is passionate about helping young people develop a lifelong friendship with God. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus