Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who Am I?

It is almost too large of a concept to wrap the human mind around. Me, a friend of God? Why would the Almighty God Almighty (this is not a mistype), the creator of the universe, deem me worthy of His friendship. It boggles the mind just to try and process through that big idea. I have discovered that friendship is a grossly undervalued and misconstrued relationship. Judging from the way that many of us treat and interpret our friendships, they are valuable for only as long as we derive a significant benefit from them. If the way that we interpret friendship was truly what real friendship is, then the question has to be asked; what benefit does Jesus derive from being friends with us?

It would be, at best a weak argument to suggest that He derives the benefit of our devotion to Him, because at the best of times our devotion is rather tepid. So, if the relationship is so one-sided (at least in terms of what we give and take from the relationship), why does Jesus choose to love us and call us His friend? I think it's simply because He desires to set an example for us of what a true friendship looks like. It is committed to giving under any and every circumstance. It is a characteristic of God's nature and it is borne out of pure, unadulterated love. That is how Jesus chooses to deal with us. To love us unconditionally, the way true friends do. In case you think I might be making it up as I go, let me show you what He says about you and me:

"...I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father." (John 15: 15 NCV)

So how do we reciprocrate this amazing gesture of largesse? Obedience. By simply obeying His word. He says so Himself in John's gospel, "If you love me, obey my commands." John was the only one of the twelve disciples at the cross. His best friend for the last three years was in trouble and he had come to see what he could do to help, in what appeared to be a helpless situation.

"Can you take care of my mother and treat her as if she were your own?" Jesus asks. "Absolutely" replies John, confused that this is all Jesus would ask of him at such a dark season of His life as He hangs upon a cross. But you see, that's what friends are for. John teaches us that the strongest relationship with Christ does not have to be a complicated one, requiring all sorts of rules and regulations. So today I am asking the question, "Who am I?" I for one, am a friend of God. How do you answer that question?