Mar. 3, 2012
(Jesus said), “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on throne, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
There are different kinds of friends. There are the acquaintances, the people we know somewhat but aren’t part of your inner circle. There are friends of friends, people you know because of someone else. There are co-worker/co-business friends. These are folks who’ve become acquainted with through an organization such as work, business, volunteering, and your child’s soccer team. There are life-long friends, people you’ve known for a long time. Maybe you were friends because you grew up together or your parents were friends. Later in life, you choose whether to continue these relationships. There are Christmas card friends: people you hear from once a year. There are closer friends, people you are a more personal with. You have coffee or lunch, take in a social outing, people who help with car pooling, when you need another volunteer for something, etc. Then there are your closest friends: people you turn to when need love, support, a shoulder to cry upon, advice or someone to listen.
As I get older, I have close friends in different arenas of my life. I have a pastor friend who I look to for support. One of my college roommates is a dear support to me. Hopefully vice versa. I have my “oldest” friend; we’ve know each other forever. I have my neighbor friend. And I have lots of friends who I see at church, for lunch, in various aspects of my life. Oh, yah, there’s my spouse.
Facebook and social media have changed who we think of as “friends.” Some people want only their true friends to befriend. Others want as many as possible.
Jesus intentionally chose 12 guys to be his inner circle. They didn’t all know each other. Jesus was the only thing in common. They came from different backgrounds, socio-economic groups, cities and villages. We know they had disagreements and didn’t always get along. And that’s OK. With 12, there will be smaller groups within the larger group. Peter, James and John were the three guys of Jesus’ smaller, closer group.
Through life, our friends change. I value and appreciate friends that I do not see very often but feels as if time and distance do not hinder our ability to be good friends. At times, I’ve had difficult conversations with some friends: when I’ve felt let down, as I’ve changed careers, etc. The result often goes one of two ways: we move into a deeper understanding of how to support each other OR we discover that we’re not as compatible.
Look at Jesus words again. He’s thanking his closest friends for journeying with him the last three years. He realizes that it hasn’t always been easy being his friend. Soon, he tells them, you will receive a great reward for sticking by me. Everything I know will be available for you. Everything. Wow, what a friend. I might be able to do this for a couple people. Jesus opens up everything for you, not to lure you as a friend, but to show how much he cares for you. That’s an exceptional friend.
Let us pray: Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there! Amen.
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