Jesus is my friend. But what does that really mean? Who is Jesus? He knows me and knows I’m…well,, He knows me. I’ve been thinking recently about how I understand Christ and my relationship to Him, since that’s a thing we’re counseled to ponder [you know, it kinda is eternal life. So that’s a thing. (read John 17:3)].
I like to think of Jesus as my loving, snarky, wise friend. Some would take issue with some of that (snarky, mostly. Who wouldn’t want Jesus to be loving or wise? A few would also dispute His status as a friend, saying I’m elevating myself to some high position that only the uber-worthy should occupy, but that’s not what I intend).
To best go through my idea of Jesus, I selected some of my favorite verses that illustrated the many-faceted approach that I have to Christ and my belief in Him.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
I love this. The idea of Jesus being the Word, the truth, the light and the way that we should all follow. It’s a bit ambiguous and funky, but oh, so delightful.
“He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.” Mosiah 16:9
Isn’t that imagery awesome? This pillar of light bursting out of this oozy, black darkness (like Dark Water from the Pirates of Dark Water, or the terrifying evilness from Little Nemo’s Adventures in Slumberland). Jesus is always there for us to look to and nothing can stop that. Even if we’re in the lowest, darkest, most dreadful godforsaken place (like the DC clubs that I was dragged to this weekend. Just kidding, they weren’t quite Hell. I think).
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Christ as the friend that reaches out and knows when we need comfort and peace. A peace that lasts. Sometimes that may require some more pain and suffering initially, but His peace can be with us.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Jesus wants us to be His friends. If we do as God asks and seek to understand what God and Christ do, we can have that title. We are a party to Christ’s friendship. Awesome. I love the intimacy that that suggests. The closeness, which may influence how I view this next passage.
“2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
7 And he arose, and departed to his house.”
And there’s my snarky, sassy Jesus. It’s hilarious. I LOVE the way he responds to the doubting Pharisees, it’s a perfect comeback. Essentially, “Yo, you don’t think I can forgive sins? Well, to show you what’s up, I’ll forgive this dude’s sins AND heal his legs.” Miracle happens. Mic drop.
Maybe I like that because my parents are snarky with me and I’m pretty snarky with others (to put it mildly), so I enjoy snark and find it an excellent diffuser and laughter-inducing strategy.
“3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
But the snark works because I feel Christ’s love strongly enough that I know if I am lost, He will come for me. He will drop everything to rescue me. A single, solitary sheep, wandering aimlessly on the fringes. And He’ll do the same for you. He is my (our) Savior.
“28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?…
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:28, 31, 38-9
Again, the emphasis on Christ’s love and the inability of anything to separate us from it. Nothing, absolutely nothing can prevent Christ from reaching us (thanks, Atonement!). His love is everywhere, unless we reject it. This love helps Christ take our trials and pains and make them for our good, they can come to teach us. Whatever happens, Love will win. Pure, true, Christlike love.