Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 March 2022 John 15:13.

John 15:13.      Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Now it seems like the ole fella is taking advantage of the lazy quality of a Saturday morning by getting later and lazier. (smile) But that’s to be expected of a gentleman getting on in age, isn’t it? Or is that just an excuse to be lazy and rise late, especially when you’re not abed until the wee hours of the morning? (smile) Personally, I think it’s a combination of both, but then they say that a leopard can’t change its spots, so I guess I can’t change my peculiar and eccentric ways…not that I want to. 

Anyway, having made my apologies, (smile) let’s turn to our Saturday ritual, looking with a scriptural eye, at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us that ‘No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.’ Now that’s obviously true, because by definition, a friend is one who has your best interest at heart, and if those in your acquaintance don’t want you to speak up or grow, then they certainly are not your friends. 

And the Good Book tells us quite a lot about friends and friendships. Cousin Sol spoke about it several times in Proverbs. ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) Then in chapter 18, he asserts: ‘A man that hath many friends must show himself friendly (will come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) And per the scholars’ explanation: ‘A man of many friends comes to ruin. In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial friendships. Far better is it to have (a few) genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times. (17:17).’ 

Yes my people, by the very definition, the deep and responsible relationship expected from a friend, in a friendship, one cannot truly have a lot of them. And this last wise word from Cousin Sol is a magnificent one on friends and friendships, where he says: ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov. 27:17) Of which the scholars say ‘As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! If your supposed friend isn’t improving your mind and morals then he is no true friend. For as the next quote tells us: ‘A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.’ More gospel truth mih bredrin! A true friend will only block you if he sees you are falling, and then steps in to help you back up. 

And the definitive statement on true friendship comes from none other than Jesus, where He tells the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth, I call you not servants… but I have called you friends…’ (John 15:13 15) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life for His friends! Oh what a friend we have in Jesus! 

But when we talk about great friendships between two humans there’s none like that between Bruh David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son, found in 1 Samuel 20. By lineage, Jonathan was supposed to be the king of Israel after his father Saul. And though he knew that the prophet Samuel had anointed Bruh David for that job, yet he entered into a covenant of friendship with David. 

Instead of being jealous and miserable like his father, he encouraged Bruh David, even letting him know of his father’s cruel, evil and unfair intentions towards him. And then later on when both Saul and Jonathan were dead and Bruh David was king, he sought out and looked after Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth. (2 Sam. 9) That’s how true friendship operates! 

Oh brother, I didn’t mean to spend so much time on the friendship situation nuh, but it just seemed to warrant the time since real friends and true friendships are so few and far between in our current selfish and greedy society. Anyway, the next quote is also an interesting one. ‘The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.’ 

And I’m chuckling here because our friend Anselm provides the answer to that in the very next quote: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

Now that’s exactly why we have rebellions; because the conditions of life breed nothing but rebellious attitudes. When people are so dissatisfied and feel that their problems are not being seriously considered, then the last option in their portfolio is simply to rebel. It’s like when you corner a wild animal and it sees no way of escape, it comes right after you, mano a mano. 

It’s been the history of rebellions right down through the ages; the weak have been taken advantage of by the strong, and when they can’t take it no more, they rise up in rebellion. But the strong never learn, they keep on revelling in their power, no wonder it’s been a continuous cycle. And that’s why this last quote might just be true: ‘It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.’ 

Who knows friends, we might just need the apocalyptic message very badly right now; the real revelation of things to come, and very possibly real soon Why? Because mankind being the arrogant and egotistic animal he is, who feels his free will, encased in his supposed power and wisdom makes him godlike, meaning he can do whatever he wants, badly needs a wake up call. And only the roiling, churning and upturning power of the universe, a glimpse of God’s awesome omnipotence can possibly achieve that much desired and oh so necessary objective! Much LOVE!

…it was the water the first time…but the next time…it will be the unquenchable fire… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

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