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That’s never going to happen.
I’m never going to see all those Facebook friends I have “in person”. Ever.
If I were sick and in the hospital… they wouldn’t come visit me.
If I needed some money to help pay a bill… they wouldn’t be there for me.
If I was stranded on a highway at night… they wouldn’t come and get me.
Like that lady in our opening illustration - THEY’RE NOT COMING OVER!
They don’t really know me.
They don’t know the details of my life.
They don’t know what I struggle with.
They might not even LIKE me.
On Facebook… they’re my friends.
(PAUSE) But, for the most part, they’re just passing acquaintances. Most of them are very nice people, but they’re not REALLY my friends.
And, that’s what happens in real life too.
Sometimes even the people we call our friends – aren’t really our friends.
They’re not there when we need them.
They disappoint us or forget us, or ignore us.
Jesus tells the story of the youngest son of wealthy man.
The boy didn’t want to wait til his father died to get his inheritance, so he bugged him to his father finally gave it to him… then he went to a far away city and lived it up. He had parties, he had friends – at least until the money ran out… then his “friends” ran out and didn’t come back.
I’ve talked to young people who’ve used their money to “buy” their friends. It worked for a while, and then they were gone.
I read a blog where people had shared what worried them. And one woman posted: “Are my friends really my friends?” because she had learned that, too often, the people she thought she could count on… you couldn’t.
In the midst of this troubling reality - the reality that we don’t ALWAYS have true friends that we can count on… Jesus tells us HE wants to be our friend.
Now, this is a bit odd when you consider the fact that we didn’t make the first move. We didn’t send a friend request to Jesus. He sent one to us.
In John 15:16 Jesus says “You did not choose me, but I CHOSE YOU and appointed you to go and bear fruit— fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
John tells us much the same thing in I John 4:19 “We love because he first LOVED us.”
Jesus reached out to us – first.
Now, why is that important?
Well, because frankly, if most people knew what you and I were REALLY like… they wouldn’t accept a friend request from either you or I. If people knew some of the things you’ve SAID/DONE/THOUGHT they wouldn’t have anything to do with us.
But Jesus knows exactly what we’re like… and He STILL wants us as His friends.
As Romans 5:10 puts it “…when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son”
Ephesians says it this way:
“…because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…” Ephesians 2:4-5
We were enemies
We were dead in our sins and messed up lives.
We weren’t worth much --- to God… or anyone else.
But it was then - when we were enemies of God/ dead in our sins - that God sent us His “friend” request. Rephrasing John 3:16, you could say it like this “For God so loved you and I, He sent us His a very special friend request”
Or as it really says: “For God so loved the world that He gave (sent) His only begotten Son”
(PAUSE) Now the way you become a “friend” on Facebook is
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