6 “I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from this world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 This is because I gave them the words that you gave me, and they received them. They truly understood that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
I have some great friends. I hope you do too. I have friends that live near me that my kids have known all their lives and think of them as extra aunts and uncles. My siblings and siblings-in-law are good friends as well. My best friend from junior high lives in California but we talk often, and we get to visit each other every other year or so now. These are the people in my life that I can share just about everything, and who will help me when I need something. They know my strengths and weaknesses and love me because of and in spite of them. I feel like they are the people that God has specifically chosen for me to share my life with.
Jesus had the same feelings about his disciples. This passage takes place before Jesus and the disciples go into the garden of Gethsemane. Throughout this chapter, Jesus is praying to God about his death that he knows is coming, but he is praying for his friends that God has chosen for him. He has shared his whole life’s purpose with the disciples, and they believed what Jesus had to tell them – as outrageous as it may have seemed to them. They trusted him as he trusted them. Later in the chapter he asks for their safety and for them to be able to continue what they started as his disciples.
All of my friends know how I feel about my faith and my relationship with Christ. I pray for them often, but am I regularly engaging with them about what God has done for me in my life and what God has done for them? Are we engaging in ways that encourage each other’s faith? Our friends and family members don’t always share our faith. As Jesus shared with his disciples, it is our job to share with those around us. Sometimes the ones closest to us can be the hardest to share our faith with, but it is something we are encouraged to do.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
God gives us friends to help us, to be in relationship with us, but do we return God’s favor by ministering to them and planting seeds for God’s kingdom?
Prayer: Giver of friends, help us to be thankful for the people in our lives who we count as friends. Help us to more fully share you with them. Amen.