ODJ: friend request

March 29, 2014 

READ: John 15:9-17 

Now you are my friends (v.15).

Ty Morin hopes to photograph 788 friends by the year 2016. His picture taking project, entitled “Friend Request: Accepted”, will require him to photograph each of his Facebook friends doing what they love—anything from firefighting to weightlifting. Although many of his friends live in remote regions of the world, he feels it’s important to show up and connect personally with each one—spending at least an hour taking pictures. Through his project, Morin wants to combat the impersonal, superficial nature of online “friending”.

Ty Morin’s project reminds me of the way Jesus personally reached out to humankind. He befriended us when “[He] became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14). Jesus lived with humans—He locked eyes with some, healed others, ate meals, fished, sailed, preached—all because He refused to stay removed from our world. He came to earth so that we could know Him not only as God, but also as a fellow human and friend.

Jesus told His disciples, “Now you are my friends” (15:15) and He proved it by confiding in them. He said, “I have told you everything the Father told me” (v.15). This level of sharing showed His care and created joy in the hearts of His followers (17:13). The depth of Jesus’ friendship was also revealed by sacrifice. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:13) and then He allowed himself to be crucified for our sake.

The friendship Jesus offers is not a one-click event—it’s an ongoing thing. He loves us deeply and has invited us to remain in His love (v.9). Jesus wants to hear us and help us with our struggles every day (Matthew 11:28-30). This close connection with Him can minister to our souls when we feel disconnected from the people in our world. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
1 Samuel 18:1-30 ‹365-day plan

Read Romans 5:10 to see why friendship with God is possible. Look up Proverbs 27:6 and think about how this verse might relate to God’s discipline in our lives.  
How might God’s friendship inspire us to improve our friendships with others? Close friendship can be risky. Why should we as believers in Jesus be willing to form deeper relationships?