“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you.” ~John 15:15
When you meet a stranger, when you shake somebody’s hand for the very first time, you’ll probably tell them your name, what you do for a living, and how many kids you have. When you bump into a friend, you might tell them a little more about your job or your spouse or your children. But when you sit down for a talk with your very dearest and closest friend, you tell him everything. Everything. You don’t hold anything back. You talk to him about the burdens of being who you are at work. You share with her the intimate details of your marriage, the wonderful things and the awful things. You open up to him your deepest feelings and your wildest dreams for your children. No reservations. No holds barred.
Jesus totally opens himself up to us. He completely pulls back the curtain on his thoughts and motives so we can fully know him. Through Jesus, we’re able to fully know God. And that’s huge. That deserves serious and careful consideration.
Trust and love and loyalty — true friendship — is what leads to really knowing one another. In a marriage. In any kind of relationship. In EVERY kind of relationship. In the same way, knowing one another is what leads to trust and love and loyalty and true friendship. And when people really share that, there’s nothing they can’t survive together. There’s no situation, no circumstance, no event that can destroy that relationship.
I think that’s why Jesus prays, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Doesn’t this sum up everything? All our problems and all of God’s solutions in this one sentence: Knowing God and knowing God through his Son.
When Jesus calls us his friends, he’s telling us, “I want you to know me. I’ve held nothing back from you. I’ve given you everything I have. There’s no door I won’t open for you. There’s nothing I won’t do for you. I’m wide open to you. You don’t have to worry about any surprises with me or any sudden changes with me. I’ll never pull the rug out from under you. You know me too well for that. You are my friends.”
Jesus loves you. He defends you. He protects you and gives to you. Jesus saves you and gives you access to the eternal riches of our Father in heaven. He died for you.
It’s good to have a friend like Jesus
The Red Ribbon Review is my attempt to pass away the days until football season. We’re looking at the second-best players in Cowboys history according to jersey number. And today’s #17 is backup quarterback Jason Garrett.
Garrett was an undrafted free agent out of Princeton, bouncing around from the Saints to the World League and the CFL, before landing in Dallas where his dad, Jim, was a scout for the Cowboys. And for seven years, Garrett was one of the most popular Cowboys in town.
Garrett played in 25 games as Troy Aikman’s backup from 1993-1999. He started nine of those games, going 6-3 and keeping the team together during Super Bowl and playoff runs. And while his numbers aren’t gaudy (come on, he was a backup!) he had quite the penchant for the big play.
An 80-yard touchdown pass to Billy Davis in a big win over the Giants in ’98. A 43-yard scoring strike to Ernie Mills in a victory at Washington that same season. A 37-yard TD to Rocket Ismail in a home win over the Packers in ’99.
Of course, his biggest win came on Thanksgiving Day against Green Bay in 1994. The Cowboys were down 17-3 early in the second quarter, 17-6 at the half. But Garrett, who started that day in place of an injured Aikman, rallied Dallas to 36 second-half points for a huge 42-31 win. Garrett racked up 311 yards passing that day, including two second-half touchdown bombs to Alvin Harper (45 yards) and Michael Irvin (35 yards). He also won the eight-legged turkey or the metal turkey or whatever the network was giving away that day.
Now Garrett serves as the Cowboys offensive coordinator / assistant head coach, pulling down almost three-million-dollars a season. His career track reminds me of Danny Reeves’. I don’t think Garrett will be a head coach in Dallas. But he’ll always be the second-best #17 in Cowboys history.