|NOT the Sea of Galilee, but a picture of the Atlantic when we visited Ocean City, MD.|
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Hey There Friend!
This morning, part of the scripture read during the sermon came from John 21. This is the story of Jesus meeting up with his disciples after He rose from the dead. It was morning and the disciples were out on the sea fishing when Jesus called out to them from the shore. The New International Version of verse 5 says that Jesus "called out to them, 'Friends...'"
This morning I was struck by verse 5 of John 21. As I said above, the NIV says that Jesus "called out to them, 'Friends...'" He called out. He was on the shore of the sea of Galilee. The disciples were in a boat on the water, having fished all night. Did you ever try to call to someone swimming in the ocean? The sea is a noisy place. Now, I've never been to the sea of Galilee. It may not be as noisy as the Atlantic, but I'm willing to bet that there is a certain amount of noise. Even if it were as calm as a lake, the disciples were out in a boat on the sea. To call to someone yards away from you, on a body of water, would take a bit of volume, don't you think?
So, when Jesus called out to them, I imagine He was shouting. Imagine it with me. Jesus is on the rocky shore of the sea of Galilee. He stands at the edge of the water, wanting to get his disciples' attention. He cups His hands around His mouth and shouts, "FRIENDS!" The purpose of His call to them was two-fold. He wanted to get their attention, but He also wanted to let them know who He was. The disciples had seen Him on the shore, but they didn't know who He was. (see John 21:4) And so, not only did He need to call to them to get them to pay attention to Him, but also to tell them that it was He, Jesus, their friend.
And so He shouted, "FRIENDS!" Making His voice loud enough to be heard over the wind and waves that usually come with a large body of water, as well as the voices of all the fishermen in the boat and the operations of that fishing boat. He needed to shout over all the noise of the environment.
There's a lot of noise in my environment. I'm a home-schooling, home-working, home-making woman. Even when there is quiet in my physical environment, there's noise in my head. I'm thinking of what I need to do, what I should do, what I did do, and what I did not do, constantly. My mind is buzzing with lists, ideas, thoughts, plans, and prayers. There's a lot going on in this little life of mine. And Jesus is standing at the shore shouting, "Friend!"
In today's sermon, Pastor Pat said that many of us think Jesus is calling a lot of other names, but, in truth, He is calling us "Friend." (It's a great sermon and will be posted here soon. Look for Building a Legacy Part 2 on November 18, 2012) I would submit to you that He is shouting to us, "FRIEND!" It's more than a call. It's more than a slightly raised voice. He's shouting! He's shouting to you, and He's shouting to me. He's shouting loud enough to be heard clearly over crashing waves, and the dirty dishes, and the crying children, and the telephone. And He's shouting, "FRIEND!" He wants to be heard over the din of our lives. He wants us to hear over our worries and concerns. He wants us to hear that He considers us a friend.
He thinks of you and I as His friend. In John 21, Jesus called to His disciples so that they would know that He was the man on the shore. He calls to us so that we know who He is. He is our friend. And we are His. James 2:23 says that Abraham was called God's friend because he believed God. So it's not outside of the realm of possibility to consider that we could also be Jesus' friend. I totally believe Jesus! I believe He wants the best for my life. I believe He has a plan. I believe He is worth it. I believe Jesus. I did not say I believe in Jesus. I do, but so do most historians. I believe in Jesus, but, more importantly I think, I believe Jesus. I believe Him. So He is calling me friend. He is shouting to me, "FRIEND!" and I'm listening.
I don't know what comes after "Friend!" Maybe Jesus is calling to you and saying "Friend, come sit with me a while!" Or maybe it's, "Friend, you need to serve in this area." Or it could be "Friend, this season has past. It's time to step away." I don't know. Truthfully, I don't know much about what Jesus is saying to me after He calls me friend. I just know He's calling me. And He's calling me Friend. How about you? What is He saying to you? I'd love a chance to pray for you. If you are struggling to hear His voice or if you are hearing His call and need prayer support, leave a comment. I will pray.