I’ve had lot of friends in my lifetime… good ones, great ones, bad ones, and fake ones.
When I was a teenager, I had such a close friend that we made up our own language. We could converse without anyone else understanding what we were saying. That same friend was my college roommate for four years, and we had a blast creating memories in college. Then I met a woman named Sarah and she and I became close friends. We later got married and our friendship has grown through good times and bad times, sweet seasons, and bitter seasons. Sarah is my one true human companion.
Through a lifetime of friendships, I have learned that no human friend—not even a spouse—can bring the kind of fulfillment, affirmation, and rest that we crave as human beings. In the same way, I can’t provide ultimate fulfillment, affirmation, and rest to any of my friends—even my wife. There is only one who is a perfect friend, and his name is Jesus.
Jesus said there is no greater love than love that lays down its life for a friend, and he didn’t just talk about it, he did it. He also said, in the Gospel of John, that we are his friends if we obey him. In this book, he lays out his commands in a beautiful fashion—a way that shows how they are are all relational rather than moral commands.
The commands that our friend Jesus gives us are commands like:
- receive me
- believe me
- trust me
- come to me
- ask for help
- get up crippled man
- drink from me
- feed on me
- open your eyes blind man
- get out of that tomb Lazarus
These are the kinds of commands that create a foundational and lasting friendship that can carry you through life.