As we find ourselves in the month of February, we begin to look forward to Valentine’s Day and the coming warmer weather. Sitting inside by the fireplace during the cold winter can be a time of reflection. Recently, I have been pondering how important friendships are to me and to all of us. Jesus demonstrated what friendship means in many ways. One way Jesus taught us about friendship is in the Gospel of John when he took on the role of a servant and washed the dirty feet of his disciples (John: Chapter 13). John 13:1b, says, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” Keep in mind at that time in world history, the disciples probably wore sandals, and the feet of those he was washing were dirty to say the least. Yet Jesus wanted to be an example of true friendship to his disciples. “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them” (John 13:12).
Why did Jesus ask them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” (John 13:12b). This was certainly a demonstration of love and humble service. But Jesus, the Son of God, also wanted to know if they understood what a true friendship looked like. We live in a world that is full of both real, authentic friendship and cliquish, self-centered friendship. Jesus was born to set us free from the isolation this world can surround us with. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32). What is holding us back from such a loving, authentic friendship with Jesus?
I encourage all of us to think about true friendship and how we choose to live that out each day with our friends and each other. During this month as we celebrate love, the BEST example of selfless, unconditional love and friendship, for now and into eternity, is lived out through the Salvation and forgiveness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of life! “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). If you would like to know more about a friendship with Jesus, you are invited to join one of our area churches on any given Sunday. At Groveland Evangelical Free Church, we worship Sunday mornings at 10:00 am and would welcome you to join us.
In Christ Service,
Pastor Bob Kandels