Over the past few years, I have spent a great deal of my meditation in an attempt to understand the concept of friendship with Christ.
At the end of John’s Gospel, when Christ is asking Simon Peter if he loves him, Jesus asks of his love in the sense of Agape (self-giving love). Peter cannot understand and responds that he has friendship love with Christ (Philia). It is only when Christ steps down to Peter’s level and asks if Peter has friendship love for him that Peter is able to understand and his friendship blossoms into Agape, the true love which God desires.
My point of meditation is this: Do we, as Christians, live out this friendship with Christ in a practical sense? Do we actually come to know him as a person rather than as a part of a relationship? For example, do we personally know Jesus rather than simply acknowledging Christ’s place in our lives as Savior, Lord, or King?
I came up with a little exercise for self-evaluation of our personal relationship with Jesus.
- Think of your best friend. This could be a spouse, sibling or other friend.
- Take a piece of paper and describe them with regard to your relationship. Write down what their likes and dislikes are, what makes them laugh, what about you seems to annoy them, how you need to approach them for forgiveness if you hurt them, etc.
- Now, using your previous description as a guide, try to describe the personality of Jesus concerning the same points. For example, what makes Jesus laugh in your life?
I have been using this to try to develop my understanding of who Jesus is to me, rather than simply what role does Jesus play in my life. The Son has two natures in one person. One of these is a human nature and, as such, we can come to know Jesus as a person in addition to knowing him as God.
I have discussed this with a few people in my life and they have seemed receptive to this approach of Christ.
I am wondering what your take on this is.