Tuesday, March 30, 2010

John the Baptist "Friend of Christ"

John the Baptist

Image by Loci Lenar via Flickr

John considered himself to be a friend of Jesus (John 3:29).  What is it that he did that led him to this opinion of himself?

John was on mission for God.  He knew that God had sent him before the one that was going to bring salvation to the world.  He said that his call had been "given to him from Heaven (John 3:27)."  What is more he in his calling was sent forth like an ambassador goes before a king.  His ministry was in preparation of Christ's (John 3:28).

The imagery changes from forerunner to friend of the groom.  The friend of the groom had a high responsibility.  His job was to find and secure the bride at times.  If the groom was already betrothed (similar to engaged) then the friend of the groom would serve the bride in what ever she needed.  He also was a witness to the couple's fidelity to one another.  The friend would announce the coming wedding celebration.  The friend of the groom was responsible for the preparations for the wedding celebration.  He was like a super-wedding coordinator. 

In this way John was the friend of the groom.  Interestingly several of John's disciples became disciples of Christ and in turn became the early church (securing the bride).  He announced the coming of Christ.  He prepared the way for the wedding by proclaiming the need for repentance. 

What can we glean from this in friendships?  John was a very good friend.  He had a servants heart and was willing to do what ever it took to help his friend.  Admittedly it was our Lord, but a friend still.  He honored his friend by diminishing his importance.  He did not compete with his friend.  He blessed and supported the efforts of his friend.  He was willing to have his disciples transfer to follow his friend.  If we are to be a good friend then we must be able to be a servant, be helpful, honor, in humility, not compete, not demand our own way, support, and willing to sacrifice. 

As I have gone through this I am becoming aware that friendships have more to do with me than they have to do with qualities in others.  If you find someone that is trustworthy then it seems that friendship is the work that you put into it.  What are your thoughts?

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