“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)
Cindy and I have experienced the joy of reconnecting with friends we have known over the years via the internet. While the dangers of the web have been well-documented, being brought closer to friends who are scattered throughout the country is no doubt a good thing.
I would not say that adding a friend on Facebook is being reunited. True unity is much deeper than that. But spanning distance and time to connect in some way with friends we have known is a slice of heaven. Consider the connections we will have there! People in Christ who have died before us. Our own great-grandchildren whom we don’t even know. Biblical saints and historical saints we’ve only read about. Childhood friends that we lost touch with but who found their way to Jesus…and eternal life. All will be present for this Grand Reunion!
In the meantime, our Lord made much of friendship. He eagerly desired to eat with the Twelve whom He called His friends. He told us to use the money of this world to make friends for ourselves. Even the one who betrayed Him Jesus called a friend. Likewise, we cannot survive without friends. Like the Borg we are part of “the collective.” We are social creatures that need one another and must give to one another if we are to be whole.
Jesus had many friends, and from the proverb above and the gospel accounts we must conclude that He was friendly. But Jesus also had many enemies. Religious people hated him and accused Him of having a demon. Roman soldiers mocked and abused Him. His own people rejected Him. Even His friends forsook Him. Jesus warned us that we should expect the same treatment. In fact, He warned us to beware when everyone speaks well of us, for it could mean that we are being false and only telling people what they want to hear rather than speaking the truth.
Yet with all the joys and sorrows of friendship, the proverb drives us on to seek the One friend who stays closer than a brother. I don’t know of any more beautiful description of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who walks with us through every valley, who never leaves us or forsakes us, who restores our soul, and who prepares a place in heaven for us. He is the closest and most faithful friend I have ever had.
I wonder…how many friends would Jesus have on Facebook?
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