In the Bible, the apostle John makes an interesting statement about friendship. He says to his church friends,
“I hope to visit you (see you soon) and talk with you face to face” (2 John 12, 3 John 14).
“Email and texting just doesn’t work here,” John tells them. “There’s more to our relationship than posting on your Facebook feed. I want to see you. I want to look into your eyes, sit down beside you, spend quality time with you.”
Get this. The original Greek words that John used here literally say, “Talk with you mouth to mouth.” As in, “I want to see your lips moving—trembling when you’re sad, smiling when you’re happy, frowning when you’re angry. I want to focus on you personally without distraction.”
Let me ask you, how many people in your life—not including family—would you be able to walk up to, take the gum you are chewing out of your mouth and say, “Here. Chew this. Really, it’s important to me.” And they’d do it, on the spot, without arguing.
That’s a clue about the depth of friendship important in this life, “mouth to mouth.” Face to face.
Just like pen and ink wasn’t enough for the apostle John to practice his friendship, written Bible books and prophecies weren’t enough for Jesus, either. Even the Ten Commandments written on stone by the finger of God weren’t enough. Jesus needed to come and visit face to face. Jesus became human so he could see and feel and spend quality time in the moment with us.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1,2).
God loves you so much that he meets you face to face, mouth to mouth, breath to breath, life to life in Jesus. He touches your sin. He takes up your messes and mistakes. He teaches you with mercy and peace. He trumps all threatening circumstances in your life with his divine promises. You have more than his Word. You have him.
Jesus once said to his followers and says to us, “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:15,16).
Jesus wants you to be his friend. Jesus, in mercy and forgiveness, chooses you to be his friend.
Now, be his friend. Never leave him. Always trust him. And, please, on social media share him more than anything or anyone else. Because he wants to call your friends his friends too.
PRAYER: Thank you for calling me your friend, Jesus. Thank you for choosing, by your grace, to spend time with me and share yourself with me. I want to be closer to you. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Make a list of your closest friends. Write down their names. Say a prayer about each of them.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about your friends)
- Repent (tell God about your sins of neglecting or harming friendships, trust in his promises of forgiveness and in Jesus as your friend)
- Ask (make a request for God to do something special for your friendships, and for your friends)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)