Jesus Calls Us Friend

In the mid 1930s, the classic movie, “The Bride of Frankenstein”, came out. It starred Boris Karloff in the role of the monster. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie occurred when the Monster entered the cottage of a blind hermit, in the heart of the forest. The blind hermit thanked the Lord for sending him a friend.

The Power Of Friendship

The hermit taught the monster words like”friend”…….”good”……..”alone”………”bad”. They shared a meal and smoked cigars together. These two lonely souls found their humanity in their friendship. One the saddest parts of the movie occurred when 2 hunters stumbled across the cottage and recognized the monster. As they take him away to kill him, the monster forlornly cries out “Friend?”…..”Friend?”

Image result for The Bride of Frankenstein movie, 1935 - the monster meeting the blind hermit

These movie scenes illustrate the power of friendship in our lives. We cannot experience our full humanity without friendship with other human beings. When the Lord first created Adam, God said “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). I believe that our need for friendship is so powerful that we not only need human friends, but we need friendship with God. Only the Lord can fully  meet our need for companionship. Our human friends are not able to take the place of our Maker in our lives.

A big part of the Gospel is that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we have been made friends with God. Jesus is Emmanuel, ‘God with us’. While we were hostile toward God and powerless to change our alienated state toward God, He came to us in Jesus to reconcile us to Himself through His death (Romans 5:6-8). Jesus, who knew no sin, became the sin-bearer for our sins, so that we could enter into a right relationship with God (2Corinthians 5:18-21).

Friendship And The Trinity

Tim Keller makes a very interesting point when he says that loneliness is one problem in our life that arises not because of our sin, as much as it does out of our being created in God’s likeness. Keller goes on to explain what he means: he says that within the Trinity, the Father and the Son have always delighted in one another, communicated with one another, shared their plans and worked with one another, in the power of God’s Spirit. In other words, within the Trinity, an eternal friendship and fellowship has always existed.

It is a profound thought that friendship is eternal. It was never created, it has always existed within God. And because we are created in God’s image, our humanity will only flourish when we are involved in good friendships with other people and with the Lord. The good news is that Jesus calls us “friends”. Through Him and the cross, we are invited to participate in the fellowship of the triune Godhead (1John 1:1-4).

We cannot be friends with someone who is always guarded with us. Friends share secrets and themselves with us. They commit themselves to us. No wonder our great Friend Jesus says these words in John 15:13,15:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends …….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.

Image result for Jesus calling his disciple friends in John 15

We are called to follow Jesus’ example in being His ambassadors on this earth. We are called to offer ourselves in committed friendship with Christians and non-Christians. The Church is called to cultivate meaningful fellowship with fellow believers and to befriend the stranger in our surrounding neighborhoods and workplaces.

This requires risk and cost, but the rewards are eternal. May the Lord give us grace and wisdom to not be so busy and distracted, that we miss the stranger and ministry that is right before our eyes. May we grow in friendship with the Lord and with those we live with, work with and worship with.

In the the name of our Lord, Savior and Friend,  Jesus.

QOTD: Am I cultivating a growing friendship with God and others? Am I putting myself out for Jesus and others?