Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jesus, the Friend

 We all are pilgrims on earth, traveling to the kingdom of God. And the first propagator of the kingdom of God on earth in Jesus. (MK 1:14).
In the first chapter we saw that friend is a person one who moves in frond and one who is moving in frond is a leader or a guide. As an explanation to the word meaning leader we have seen the qualities of a leader too. Leader must know the destiny, know the way; leader must have the quality of light in darken situations, and must be strong.

Here by preaching about the kingdom of God He proves the first quality that He knows the destiny, the kingdom of God; more than knowing the way to the destiny, Jesus tells that I am the way (JN 14:6). Having the quality of light, Jesus says that He is the light (JN 8:12) and finally more than be strong Jesus tells that He himself is the life (JN 11:25) and he proved it by bringing Lazarus to life (JN 11:38-44) and by His resurrection. (MT 28:6).

Immediately after the proclamation of the kingdom of God He calls the first disciples (MK 1:6). And this call was not merely to follow Him but the companionship and friendship. Because He was talking them with Him wherever He went. He took them in joy and sorrow alike, to Cana – the wedding and to the Gethsemane- most painful time (MT 26:36). He stayed and He was at the table with them (LK 24:30) He taught them to pray (MT 5:9) and He took along with Him when He went for prayer. As friends He revealed all the secrets about the kingdom of God to them. (JN 15:16).

He gave the freedom to call His Father as their Father (MT 6:9) same way pointing out Mary, His mother, He said to John she is your mother. Thus Jesus and His disciples became ‘ Changathi’, as we saw in the first chapter, the half of heart, friends, and He called them friends.

He took them along with Him as the part of Him, wherever He performed any miracle and its climax when he restored the life of a girl (MT 9:18). He taught them many things including the Golden rule. And in the first chapter we have seen that the leader, the friend must have a responsibility to protect the friend or followers. When the Pharisees criticized His disciples, the friends, saying that His disciples are not fasting on Sabbath day, He defended his friends asking another counter question to the Pharisees (MT 9:16). Same way when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane He called the soldiers that if they are looking for Jesus of Nazareth; I am the one and let these others go. (JN 18:8). Thus He showed the climax of the protection too.

He gave the power and authority to heal the sick and cast out the demons as sharing of His power and authority over all creatures. (MT 10:1-2). Even though He knows that His friend Judas was going to betray Him (MK 14:20), as a symbol of giving himself completely to them he gave them a loaf of bread, His body and a cup of vine His blood at the Passover meal (MK 14:22-24).

Off course a leader’s life is a sacrifice for the followers, a friend’s life is a sacrifice for one’s and it is a challenge and risk. As we saw in the first chapter He had a quality of Mithram the friend of every one, too. In his friend there were Jews and Gentiles without looking caste and creed, tax collectors (MK 2:14) and fishermen (MK 1:16-18) without looking the occupation, poor and rich (LK 19:2) without looking the financial background sinners, without looking the character (MK 2:14), children and old (MK 10:14) without looking the age, including women considering the sex (JN 11:15).

Finally as He said to them that, “ known has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”(JN 15:13). He laid down His life (MK 14:20) as climax his friends.

Thus the three years of Jesus’ friendship with the disciples He ended, his life on earth as a human being. He taught them what is a meaning of relationship, friendship in the word and deed. And the purpose of his friendship and teaching of his life was to reestablish the broken relationship (Gen 3:24), the friendship between mankind and God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth. In that case Jesus is the and only ‘kooetukaran’, the cause of relationship, the friend, as we see him in the first chapter. He is the cause of friendship between man and God.

RV Capuchin


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