What are some of the benefits of being a friend of Jesus Christ? We could name several, but the benefit I would like to focus on is the one concerning the work of the kingdom because that is the work we are called to do. And while most Christians understand the work we are called to do is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ; not everyone is willing to go all the way with Jesus that we might be able to perform the works of Jesus.
Jesus said we are to, “heal the sick, raise the dead, and drive out demons” and although Jesus said we are to do these things, most Christians have shied away from this reality because the relationship we have developed with Jesus is not a sacrificial relationship, but a relationship based on what we are willing to accept and choose to do. And because this is the position for many Christians today, the greater works Jesus said we are to do are not being done, and because our relationship with Jesus is based on a shallow friendship, we do not believe everything he promised.
Jesus said to his disciples, “asked and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.” And although these are widely accepted offers, when we approach Jesus, we do not approach him with confidence and faith because our relationship with Jesus is shallow.
It leaves us in a state of believing Jesus to be the savior, but only to the limit of our human minds having many of us asking Jesus to increase our faith as his disciples did. We accept the things we can when it comes to the words of Jesus, and the things we cannot accept we leave to grace. And, what we are saying to Jesus is this, “we are depending on your commitment to us that you will accept us for what we can accept” because the commitment in the relationship is all on Jesus.
Jesus is willing to die for our sins, he is willing to be flagged for us, stayed on the cross when mocked, wore are crown of thorn when mocked all because he is committed to the relationship, and even after knowing these things, and seeing with our eyes the faithfulness of Jesus and his commitment to the relationship, we still can’t find it in our hearts to commit our lives to him.
As Christians, the type of relationship we are having with Jesus is a relationship based on ourselves; nevertheless, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever they ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If they ask anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Jesus speak these words to his disciples because he knew not everyone will believe in him the way he desires, nor will they do the works he said we will do if we believe in him. And although it is God’s desire to be in a committed and personal relationship with us, we are shying away from his love and call to glory.
As Christians, we have taken time to pick and choose what we wish to believe and, in the process have willingly ignored the many other teachings of Jesus Christ. Doing this, we have shown we are the type of friend that will only do some of the things Jesus calls on us to do, we are not the friend that will do everything Jesus said we are to do. But if we are going to see the miracles Jesus said we are to perform, we need to understand we need to be the friend that will do all that Jesus asked us to do because it’s when we become this type of friend that is willing to do all that Jesus asked us to do, will we be able to move mountains.
But until our relationship with Christ changes, we won’t and will never take part in the glory of his love but will continue to live on the outskirts of his love. We will remain a skeptical friend of Jesus without ever knowing what it’s like to be a committed friend. Jesus said, “If you are my friend, you will believe in me, and if you have faith as a mustard seed you will move mountains” but because there is a measure of doubt in us concerning his person he said if we believe we would obey him.