I mention the Godfather because it was probably the greatest film Francis Ford Coppola ever directed, and here's why I care: it was risky business. Coppola didn't even want to direct the film at first because he knew it would probably glorify the Mafia . . . and Coppola had a well . . . well . . . Italian background. I'll let you think about what kind of risks that meant for him. Yet here is a famous quote from the famed director, producer and screenwriter:
"An essential element of art is risk. If you don't take risks, how are you going to make something really beautiful that hasn't been seen before? …. I always had a good philosophy of risks. The only risk is to waste your life, so that when you die, you say, 'Oh, I wish I had done this.'"
What do you think? Are you a risk taker? Do you believe in making, or at least participating in, beautiful things? (Yes, I can see the irony here . . . beauty and the Godfather?!!)
The point today is this: friendship requires risk taking, and when it comes to Jesus, the greater the risk you take with Him, the deeper will be your friendship. Think about those early disciples for a moment. In John's first chapter we read . . .
John 1,35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them,“Come and you will see.”
We don't know much about these disciples (we do know that one was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother) except that they had been with John. Certainly John was a radical and a person had to be somewhat of a risk taker to be spending time with him. However, by this time John's ministry was well known. There was at least a measure of predictability about it in that everyone knew his work was about calling people to repentance and baptizing in the river Jordan. But how about this "Lamb of God?" Who was He? Where was He going? Both of those are risky questions, and Jesus only tells them, "Come and you will see." The word "come" is in the imperative. In other words, if you are going to see . . . if you are going to know Jesus . . . you have to step out. It's a command. You have to leave what is familiar and "come," and it's only after you come, that you begin to see what life with Jesus is all about.
The same is true for any friendship. To be a friend involves risk. There are times when you're going to be hurt. There are times when you're going to have joy. Yet the question is simple: Is it worth it? Well . . . I think I can put it this way . . . friendship is an offer we can't refuse.