Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Better than Facebook

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  In this photo ill...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

OK, so I confess, I enjoy spending time (wasting?) on Facebook. Sometimes I do think it borders on the voyeuristic, but truly it is a great way to find and keep up with friends. Though I must wonder how many of the 416 people listed as my friends really count as friends? In fact, there are those who I really count as friends who are not on Facebook.

In this week's sermon passage (John 15:1-17) Jesus, in speaking with His disciples, calls them friends (John 15:15). Now, we must say, that's even better than having thousands of friends on Facebook.

Friendship with Jesus is quite different than friendship with those on Facebook. His friendship is one that is marked by His sacrificial death for us (John 15:12-13), and maintained by an open relationship of communication (John 15:15).

Yet, unlike Facebook friendships, our friendship with Jesus carries with it some important requirements: obeying His commands (John 15:9-13), staying attached (John 15:4), and loving each other (John 15:17). Hardly burdensome when we consider the benefits friendship with Jesus brings: fruitfulness in life (John 15:6), open communication with God (John 15:7), His promise to remain in us (John 15:9-10), the gift of His joy (John 15:11), and the list could go on if we would take a survey of the rest of Scripture.

So, enjoy your time on Facebook, if nothing else it sure makes a good prayer list! But remember, there is a friend who sticks close than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). And if you're going to be adding a friend, Jesus is the best one to have on your friend list!

See ya on Facebook.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy,

I’ve never looked into Facebook except to check some of the photos on the front page. But I have thought much about Jesus, though not as a friend, per se, but moreover as his being a part of “me” now.

Is Jesus our conditional friend? Are Christians the Lord’s friends only if we do what Jesus commanded the original disciples? “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (verse 15:14). I know Jesus’ overall command to his followers was to “Love one another as I have loved you.” However, as you said a couple of weeks ago in the Sunday church bulletin, “Don’t miss the little details in God’s Word, they are vital to our daily walk with Jesus.” The details of how we are to love God and to love one another are found, I think, in the various teachings of Jesus presented in the four Gospels. Jesus said, “All that I have heard from the Father I have made known to you” (v 15b). “All” sounds like more than just one coverall instruction, doesn’t it? This is only a rhetorical question, though, for I know you are aware that there are some conditions to salvation, and, of course, are familiar with all the details of what Jesus had to say.

About Jesus’ sacrificial death: Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (v. 13). In thinking about Jesus’ crucifixion I can see it was sort of a mixed spiritual state for Jesus. On the one hand he had told his followers earlier (Luke 12:50) “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until all is accomplished.” Boy, this sounds like the thoughts of a ready-to-go race horse at the starting gate being constrained by the gate in front him. “Constrained” is being held back from where one wants to go (Jesus was to be transformed into being “the head of the body, the church.” But on the other hand Jesus spoke to his Father in his last hours as a human, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mat. 26:39). Understandably Jesus was not so enthusiastic about his imminent death at this point in his life.

This last part sounds more like the thoughts of a man who sees the writing on the wall for himself, and, though reluctant to face the conclusion of this phase of his ministry (the reality of Jesus’ humanness is displayed), it expresses for us to view for ourselves what it may mean for Christians to “let go” and to really love God with all one's heart and soul, mind and strength. Gary