The way of the world is to build friendships with people who will up our careers and reputation. Scarcely will we go out of our way to befriend those who will not add anything to our image, but instead detract from it. But this is not the way of Jesus.
Jesus befriended unscrupulous characters such as Zaccheus, Mary Magdalene, Mary from whom he cast out seven demons...and he sincerely loved them. Seeking out and honoring their company with his presence rather than seeking out the company of the élite. This infuriated the élite no end, because if Jesus is who he claimed he was -the Son of God- and the great prophet they could all see he was, then the decent thing would be for him to honor the company of society's créme de la créme...
Friendship cannot exist in the midst of 'inequality.' This is why the Pharisees were scandalized by Jesus' association and bonding with society's outcasts.
So many factors create 'inequality' among us...differences in economics, academics, social status, etc., are wedges that introduce inequality between people and groups. So how do we fulfill the necessary conditions of equality for friendship to occur? By connecting at our lowest common denominator, which is our humanity, just like Jesus did. Jesus, God, met and befriended us - at our humanity.
At the level of our humanity, we are all equal and when we connect with people at the level of our humanity which we all share in common, rather than at elements which are unequally distributed among humans and nature, it becomes easy to love and befriend others like Christ loved and befriended us.
He affirmed our humanity with his friendship.
He gave us access to his privileges.
He exchanged his privilege for our disadvantage.
He clothe us with his glory.
When we connect at the level of our humanity, nothing, whether economics, academics, social, gender, etc., can stand in the way of love and friendship.
#ScandalousFriendship #JesusFriendship #ChristianFriendship #LoveLikeChrist #WhatIsLove
Prayer: Jesus, friend of sinners, help us to recognize we are the sinners whom you've befriended at great cost to your reputation. Help us, therefore, to go out and befriend other sinners like you befriended us. In your name, we pray.