Would You Choose Jesus for a Friend?


 

I have recently been reading a series of historical fiction books about the life of Christ. People have different ideas about fiction, but my thought is that anything that we understand to be fiction but which releases our sanctified imagination about how it might have been when our Saviour was on earth is a very good thing.

In this case, the researcher, Brock Thoene, is at the top of his field, and the writer, his wife Bodie, is also at the top of hers.

Each book takes a character in the gospels and fleshes him or her out as that person might have been.

All of the characters have one thing in common.  They pursue Jesus.  Initially, most do it from what could be called a selfish motive—needing healing or a friend or something to believe in other than the diabolical pagan gods.

But eventually each character becomes a true follower of the Lord, whether a formal disciple or a person who regularly crosses paths with Jesus some other way (like Mary Magdalene).  They all adore Jesus and try to see Him as often as possible, bringing other needy people to Him as they go.

That makes me see the value in these books—they introduce Jesus as a real person (which He is) whom many people adore.  I adore Him, too, through the Scriptures and through reading books like this that remind me that He is a real historical figure who lived here on earth for around 33 years.  People who knew Him well loved Him; the more I get to know Him, the more I love Him, too.  Books like this remind me of how much I long to meet Him—a real person, the God-man who gave me every good thing I have ever known. 

Although He is so much more than just someone to meet the needs of all of the people He has created, He does that, too.  As a needy, fallen human, it is appropriate to run to Him.  It is appropriate to run to Him for salvation, then to continue running to Him as to the friend whose presence we crave.  It is appropriate to tell others to run to Him with us in their need. 

In the simplest way, that is salvation—knowing that He is a holy God, that we are nothing without Him, and that we must run to Him.  Witnessing is simply encouraging others to grab our hand and run with us! 

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