“Jesus is my mate”
Should we approach Jesus like a best friend or a powerful king?
Jesus has street cred. He’s respected by all the major world religions. And even the average person who isn’t particularly religious respects Jesus.
In pop culture, Jesus is often presented as a likeable figure.
Hollywood celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Pamela Anderson and Ben Affleck helped to make famous a t-shirt declaring that JESUS IS MY HOMEBOY. You know, we hang together, roll together, he’s got my back, I’ve got his back. Word.
Then there is BUDDY CHRIST. Originally from a movie no-one can actually remember, Buddy Christ is a parody trying to show a friendly, Jesus-is-my-buddy type of Jesus. This particular image was then made into a bobble head, what’s not to love about a Bobble Head Christ! Jesus is my buddy, my pal and good for a laugh.
Crocodile Dundee and Jesus
The ultimate example of Jesus as a likeable figure is from the classic 1986 Aussie movie, Crocodile Dundee. The star, Mick Dundee responds to the question of whether he was afraid of dying after being attacked by a crocodile…
I read The Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep, me and God, we’d be mates.
Most Aussies (and probably everyone else) like me would believe that, if there is a God, then just like Mick Dundee “me and God, we’d be mates”.
Is it right to refer to God and Jesus this way? Is Jesus your mate?
Jesus is my mate
In once sense, Jesus is presented as a mate in the Bible.
In one of the biographies of Jesus written by Mark, it describes Jesus calling the first group of people to follow him. What was their job? Fisherman. Presumably, he was mates with these guys. Jesus spent lots of time with his disciples walking, talking, camping and eating. It’s not too hard to imagine these fisherman sharing light moments with Jesus. Like mates laugh at jokes around the camp fire.
But there’s this one particular occasion where they realised that Jesus is much more than their mate…
Jesus is more than my mate
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:35-38)
Remember, several of these mates were hardened fishermen. They’d sailed on Lake Galilee hundreds of times. If they think they’re going to die, it must be serious!
Maybe you’ve had that experience. You’re a good fisherman? You’re an experienced surfer? You’re a competent swimmer? Sometimes the ocean overwhelms even the most experienced. You knew you were out of your depth.
Knowing that these fisherman are out of their depth with this monster storm, what happens next is amazing:
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:39)
In this instance, Jesus speaks and the forces of nature respond instantly!
Jesus actually does two things here. He stops the wind AND calms the waves. Now normally it takes hours for the surface of the water to calm after a severe storm because the swell has built up. But Jesus calms these waves instantly. This is an incredible claim!
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:40-41)
They’re terrified – not of the wind and waves – but of the one who can calm them with just a word! “Who is this?”
Jesus is my maker
At this point Jesus’ mates realise that Jesus is more than just their mate… He is their Maker!! Jesus is more than just your mate, He is your Maker too.
If Jesus really is your Maker, how would that change the way you respond to him?
This article originally published on www.davemiers.com