The good news is that Jesus loves you. The surprising news is that Jesus likes you as well!

A Call to Christian Living –

Christ-Centered Community

John 2:1-10, Jesus attends a wedding in Cana.
Luke 5:27-32; Mark 14:3-9, Jesus is the guest of honor at dinner.
Luke 11:5-10, Jesus tells the story of the Friend at Midnight.
Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-8, 11:17-36, 12:1-8, Jesus visits Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.
Luke 22:7-15; John 15:9-15, Jesus gives a dinner for his friends.

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John 2:1-10, Jesus attends a wedding in Cana. (10/27/2008)

Back in the old days when I worked, I had a series of interns.  My position entitled me to a single office, and for a while I was in a single office right across the hall from my intern.  I could raise my voice just a little or send an email, and he would appear immediately.  Still, I asked if I could have a double office instead of the single – possibly the only time this request was ever made at Sandia – so that I could share with my intern.  Every so often my next boss would ask me, "Wouldn't you like a single office?  We've got another office for your intern."  I told him, "There's no point in having puppies if you keep them in the barn."  I liked my interns!  I wanted them right there with me. 

We all know the song, "Yes, Jesus loves me!"  Something that we don't stop to think about is that Jesus likes me as well.  Jesus is one of those gregarious, popular guys that is always surrounded by people – people invite him everywhere, and he always goes where he is invited, because he likes people.    

Luke 5:27-32; Mark 14:3-9, Jesus is the guest of honor at dinner. (10/28/2008)

What are your criteria for choosing friends?  Must they be popular, attractive, or well-off financially?  Should they belong to the same clubs you do, have the same hobbies, or be the same age?
Jesus seems to have had one criterion:  Are they breathing?  Jesus befriended even people that nobody else liked, and he loved going to their houses for dinner.  Not surprisingly, these unpopular people were absolutely thrilled that Jesus would visit them.  It would be roughly the same as if I invited Harrison Ford over for leftovers, and he not only showed up and gave every evidence of having a good time, but he got all the photographers to take pictures of us together.  Suddenly everybody in town would want to be invited to my house.  Two of the people Jesus had dinner with were Levi the tax-collector and Simon the Leper.  Tax-collectors were commonly considered to be extortionists and collaborators with the Romans.  Lepers, of course, were forbidden by the Law to associate with anybody, much less with a holy man.  The social standing of Levi and probably Simon as well was changed forever because Jesus was their friend.

Luke 11:5-10, Jesus tells the story of the Friend at Midnight. (10/29/2008)

Quite a few years ago, one of my sons sang the lead in "Amahl and the Night Visitors."  The choir director loaned us a piano and did a few coaching sessions.  I mentioned to a friend that I had been thinking about asking him for help, but since the choir director was doing it, that was not necessary.  He said, "I'm glad, because I would have done it, but I wouldn't have wanted to."  This is actually a wonderful example of Christian friendship:  your friends can be relied on to give you what you need, even when what you need from them is inconvenient or unpleasant.  Jesus says to ask him and your Heavenly Father for the good things you need, and to keep on asking.  Your friend Jesus and your Heavenly Father will give them to you.

Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-8, 11:17-36, 12:1-8, Jesus visits Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. (10/30/2008)
Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were special friends of Jesus.  Among the people he spent time with, we see more of these three than anyone else other than the inner circle of disciples.  No wonder then, that when the sisters called him, he went back to Judea in spite of the price on his head.  He went to mourn with them, to comfort them, and to glorify God through them.  Do we let Jesus share our sorrows, comfort us, and glorify God through us? 

Luke 22:7-15; John 15:9-15, Jesus gives a dinner for his friends. (10/31/2008)

Not only did Jesus go to dinners, he gave dinners.  Not only did he celebrate with others, he wanted people to celebrate with him.  And not only did he comfort others, he took comfort in the friendship of his disciples.  But he didn't "get comfortable."  Having finally gotten some time alone with them, he took the opportunity to give them some last-minute instructions.

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Copyright 2008, 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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