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Friendship with Jesus

Friendship with the Friend of Sinners

Brothers and Sisters,

For Christmas I received the book Friendship with the Friend of Sinners by Jared Wilson. What a delight it has been for me! 

Wilson says that the idea for the book began one day when he was reading Exodus 33:11: “And thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one would a friend.”

“It gave me goosebumps,” he writes, ”to think about experiencing friendship with God that way. In the years since, I have pursued a variety of avenues of exploration on the theme of friendship with Jesus, in my writing and especially in my preaching. This book is the culmination of really sitting in that concept for a few years, most meaningfully in my own devotional time.”

In his “For the Church” podcast, Jared says he wanted to push past the idea of friendship with Jesus to actual friendship with the Person of Jesus, and that I think is one of this book’s strengths. It not only talks about friendship in general but about the specific ways Jesus pursues friendship with His beloved. I’m reading it somewhat slowly to savor it and think about His kindness.

Reflecting on one of the chapters, Wilson said, “Chapter 4, titled, ‘On the Unsucking of Your Gut,’ covers Jesus as a Comforting Friend. That’s an especially heartfelt chapter—a gut-felt chapter, maybe!—because I think we all long for friends with whom we can just be ourselves, just breathe, just be.”

“In nearly every aspect of our lives—work, school, even church, and even oftentimes in our homes—we feel the pressure to perform, produce, put forward an image or idealized version of ourselves. We really yearn for the kind of friend we don’t have to pretend in front of, the kind that sees us as we really are and doesn’t turn up their nose or walk away.”

“The wonder of it all is that Jesus, who is the most perfect Person to ever live, the Holy God incarnate, comes near to abide with stupid, silly, sinful people like us.  He loves us as we are and will always make time for us. As I get older and more in touch (and more at ease) with my lack of impressiveness, I am increasingly thankful for Christ Jesus, my comforting friend.”

I hope that is good encouragement to you today.