Luke 7:34 says, “The Son of Man [Jesus] came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”
I’ve read that verse dozens of times. But this is the first time that the word ‘friend’ has stuck out for me.
This post, number 6 in the series of posts in my current #AtoZchallenge, has the letter ‘F’ as it’s topic. And in the A to Z cross-stitch that sits on the console table in the centre of my house, the letter ‘F’ shows ‘Friend’ and the Bible verse quoted above.
I tend to not think of Jesus as my ‘friend’. I guess there’s too much reverence there, or something. My mental pedestal is too high.
When I think of my ‘friends’, I think of laughter. Of the sheer joy in being together, of spending time delighting in each other’s company.
And I guess, when I stop and reflect on it, that *is* how I feel about God. I *do* find joy in his company; in reading His words to me and in speaking to Him (praying). [I bought myself a new Bible for Christmas and have read around 4 chapters per day since January 1st. If I continue, I’ll have read it through in a year. Cool challenge, hey! I’m up to 2 Kings at the moment. And LOVING it 😀 ]
And that’s what friendship is about, isn’t it? ‘To have a friend, be a friend,’ they say. Well, that verse above says that Jesus was ‘a friend to tax collectors and sinners’. I’m both. (For more on my tax-collecting propensities, you might like to read here.) And the sinner part? That’s pretty obvious. I stuff up ALL the time!
Jesus was quoting others’ words when he called himself ‘a friend to tax collectors and sinners’. So He must have been seen – by them – as one. And if He could be a friend then, when He was in the physical world, there’s no reason why He can’t be one now, to me… or you!
‘To have a friend, be a friend.’ I’m going to use that as a challenge to view Jesus as my friend. A friend that I still revere, and worship, but a friend nonetheless. I already delight in His company, after all!
So that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 6 of this A to Z blogging challenge: that Jesus is my friend. Well, He can be, because that’s what He’s offering. I’m accepting the offer 🙂
Have a great day, dear reader!