"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Friday, April 23, 2010

Calling Jesus Friend

Sometimes it's the in thing to say--calling Jesus friend. Everybody wants to be friends with him, not understanding what it means to be Jesus' friend. Just because Jesus mentioned about calling us "friends" (and that sounds really good) everybody starts calling Jesus friend. [Picture above from Remi Walle, Unsplash].

Preachers call non-believers to the altar with the promise that Jesus would be a friend to them. That sounds really assuring and will get crowds going to the altar--having Jesus as friend sounds like you'd be off the hook if you know you have sinned a lot. So who wouldn't go to the altar to be friends with Jesus? Sometimes we use terms people don't understand just to lure them to submission.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. [John 15]
First, Jesus said you'd become his friend "if you obey whatever I command." There's a big "if" there. And there's a big "whatever" there. Friendship with Jesus is conditional, just as salvation and forgiveness of sin are. Only God's love is unconditional. Friendship with Jesus also means we obey "whatever" he commands. And you can be sure the "whatever" here is weird and unacceptable to people. It'd cost you your life.

If you are disobedient to his Word you have no business calling Jesus friend. You are either a religion servant who knows nothing about Jesus, or a downright enemy. God's servant, like an anointed man of God, is different from a servant who knows nothing about Jesus' work and Kingdom (like many licensed servants in church denominations).

A true friend of Jesus also receives fresh and deep revelations straight from Jesus Christ, something what Paul had--what I call third-heaven revelations. Calling Jesus friend means Jesus saying to us how, "Everything I hear and get from the Father, I tell you." This means you have an open heaven. If you don't have this experience daily, it's useless calling Jesus friend.

Imagine--everything he hears from the Father he tells his friend. EVERYTHING. If you're a pastor who claims to be friends with Jesus, you don't have to invent programs or gimmicks or attractions for your church. Jesus will tell you what to do. No need to sit together and plan. Jesus will tell you all the details the Father wants you to do. The apostles just waited for the gift of the Father to come. 

They didn't plan for a prayer meeting program, didn't decide what songs to sing, who'd be the worship leader, who'd preside, who'd lead the opening prayer, and all that garbage. The worship team didn't need to practice. They simply obeyed Jesus' instructions to wait (and they did) and suddenly God moved. That's real church with all the believers being genuine friends of Jesus.

So, are you really Jesus' friend?