This past sunday we were talking about friendship in our high school ministry; and specifically, friendship with God. We talked about facebook and how culture has redefined things like who we call a "friend" and the way we use it based on phrases like "you have a friend request" and such.
Jesus actually chooses friendship as the means by which he wants to interact with us in John 15 when he calls his disciples to a radical kind of love that would die for someone.
(John 15:12–15)As a big idea, I was challenging students that we all need to own this idea:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
In the process, we discussed that our understanding of what it means to be a friend of God or how to be in close friendship with God is jacked up because we read stuff backwards into that concept from our culture. So if you have a weird understanding of earthly friendship, you end up with a weird understanding of a heavenly one. The same way that many have a really hard time with the phrase "Father God" because their only upfront image of an earthly father is one of absentee or abuse.
As I pondered this message and thought of what we think of when we think of friendship with Jesus, I was reminded of the pop-culture phenomenon of "Jesus is my homeboy".
If you're unfamiliar with it...
- Here's the official t-shirt and whatnot website that went viral after several pop culture icons wore the shirt in the early 2000's I think.
- Here's the urban dictionary post on homeboy that makes the phrase among others to define the term homeboy- which is an interesting cultural exegesis note anyway.
- Here's an blog post I ran across that shows lots of the ways that Jesus has been used in pop-culture lately, including "Jesus is my homeboy".
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
|EVIDENCE OF A MIRACULOUS EVENT|
- How do you think these pictures help or hurt the image of Jesus as a friend?
- When you picture Jesus as a friend, what do you picture?
- Be an art critic for a minute: Which one of these 6 was the most awkward? Which is the most profound?
- If we were to insert Jesus into your friendship circles, describe what role he would play and how you think he would act and dress.