This morning I was reading the story of how the Apostle Peter denied Jesus during His trial (Luke 22:54-62). It's a very familiar story for most of us raised in the church, and it's always been a story that's had special meaning to me because I can see so much of myself in Peter. But when I read it today, I was struck by the fact that the folks in the courtyard who accused Peter of knowing Jesus did so because they recognized that he was a friend of Jesus.
And that got me thinking - I wonder if people would describe me as a "friend of Jesus”?
Now, I know that the folks in the courtyard who recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus had physically seen them together, so that was probably a clue that they were friends. And obviously, today we can't physically be with Jesus - but yet, we can still be known as one of His friends. For example, there have been times in my life when I’ve met folks I didn’t know, but could right away sense that they were a fellow believer - that they were walking with God. There was just something about them that let me know they were a “friend of Jesus”.
So what is it that lets people know that we're Jesus’ friends? As I pondered that this morning, the first thing I thought of is that a person who's friends with Jesus is going to feel comfortable talking about Him to others. Acts 4:13 tells us that, "The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus." So it seems that people who are friends of Jesus are people who will speak easily and confidently about Him, letting others know about the God they serve.
But it doesn’t stop with just our words - it’s going to be our actions as well. 1 Corinthians 10:31 makes this point when the Apostle Paul tells us, "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Our actions must match our words, and in all we do, we need to show people that we're friends of Jesus - that we agree with how He's called us to live.
And finally, I think people will know that we're friends with Jesus when we spend time talking to Him - and that means we need to be people who pray. And if you think about it, that makes sense because we usually spend time talking to our friends, and then sharing with others what our friends have told us. So when we spend time talking to Jesus, and sharing what He puts on our hearts with others, people are going to know He's our friend.
So I guess the only question for us today is, are we really friends with Jesus? And if so, is it showing up in our lives? Or are we "secret pals" with our Lord and Savior - denying our relationship with Him through our words and actions? Today let's take time to ask God to help us be better friends. Let's ask Him to give us the boldness to let the world know that we haven't just been around Jesus, but that we are truly friends who joyfully serve Him.