In His Upper Room meal with His disciples on the night of His arrest Jesus said, “Henceforth I call you friends”. (John 15)
A Friend who listens big time; who offers gentle suggestions toward relief; who cuts you lots of slack; who will stand in the gap; who seems to give you all of His attention when needed; who understands a great deal of your pain and perplexity; who will share your greatest joys in ways never to be forgotten.
And this is the eternal Son of God. Participant in Creation. Tale-spinner of the glorious Kingdom of Heaven. Eager healer of the afflicted. Chastiser of the hypocritical and insensitive. Blood-letter in the great and final Atonement. Intercessor of your needs before the Heavenly Father. Preparer of those fascinating Heavenly mansions still to be enjoyed.
When the Apostle Paul said in Philippians “Rejoice in the Lord” he meant it with every fibre of his being. He proved that he could rejoice and triumph in any set of circumstances because he was friends with the Holiest. The conclusion of things would be glorious (Romans 8).
the old Puritans talked about a sorry night for sin…a storm before the calm. We will experience the same in our own disposition, pain and circumstances. But then the endearing, smiling face of Jesus settles all the rough waters.
I am told that the Alpha Study phenomenon allows inquirers to meet, share a meal, listen to many testimonies of change and rescue, slowly discover individually new features of Jesus in the dialogue. Sin, repentance and Bible portions avoided, they say, for a comfortable landing. This is head knowledge and very subjective. It is not the Way of Salvation described above. Read the little letter of Jude.
(Pages in the above picture taken from Oswald Chambers, Daily Thoughts for Disciples.)