In the days before Facebook, you decided if you liked someone only after you had met them, or at least had some communication with them. To say you liked a person was to say that you had had time to get to know them a little, and found their company pleasant and enjoyable. Liking was a step on the road to friendship, the sign of a developing relationship.
Today, on Facebook, you can ‘Like’ people and organisations that you’ve never met or even heard of before. So what does a ‘Like’ mean?
Why do you ‘Like’ or ‘Friend’ someone online? Does it mean you’re curious about them? You want to get to know them better? Or are you just collecting numbers? Do you want to have more Facebook friends than your real friends?
What about Jesus? It’s comforting to think of him as our friend, but Jesus doesn’t ask us to like him, be friends with him or to +1 him, but to follow him. It’s not the same thing at all.
He who is not with me is against me. (Matt.12:30)
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matt.10:37)
These statements of Jesus are very strong, they’re meant to shock, to make people stop and think. It’s no good telling Jesus that you think he’s a good bloke, that you’re interested in what he’s doing or that you applaud his philosophy. You have to give him everything. You have to make him the most important thing in your life.
After all, he gave everything for you.