It’s been weeks and people are still talking about the FRIENDS reunion that aired on HBO Max recently. The beloved show that ran from 1994 to 2004 is one Millennials like myself grew up with. When we had no jobs, no rent, and no romantic relationships, somehow we related to Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Monica, and Phoebe. Why? Because even though we were youngsters, we had friends!
I anticipated the reunion as if it would never come. I waited and watched the entertainment news. Excitement grew, and then waned. When the trailer finally streamed and the network scheduled the release, I did what any sane person with extra money and a television would do. I subscribed.
After watching the show I began to wander what was the appeal. Why did everyone look forward to this reunion so much? Why did I?
Reclining at the Table with Abraham
Do you often think about heaven? About Jesus coming out of the clouds and bringing us up to heaven with Him?
Do you often consider the experience of living without aches and pains, disease, or even bad luck?
Do you often daydream about running your fingers through the fur of an exotic beast, tame under your kind hand?
I often think of heaven and all these things, but more and more lately I think about the reunion–not just meeting God Himself, but meeting every person I hold dear.
A verse from Matthew comes to mind:
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 8:11, ESV)
The words of Jesus proclaim a wonder that we often overlook–it’s the wonder of the reunion. When we get to meet Jesus after this tired, dreadful earth passes away, we will be reunited in heaven. What a wonderful idea to ponder!
After an awful couple of years we’ve endured, what a day that will be!
Have you lost loved ones this year?
Have you moved? Lost touch?
Are there friends you once spoke with everyday and now life has gotten in the way?
In heaven we don’t just get to be united finally with Jesus, but with every person we have lost and missed. Can we say for sure who all will be in heaven? Well, no. But, you can best Jesus wants them there as much–even more–as you want them there.
The Faithful Centurion
I want to be in heaven when Jesus reclines at the table. Don’t you?
But was Jesus speaking of every believer when He said many would come and be in the Kingdom?
If you look at the whole passage of Matthew 8:5-13, you can see that Jesus was teaching a lesson, as He so often did.
As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion found Him and asked Him to help his servant who was paralyzed and suffering. Jesus said He would heal the servant, but the centurion answered humbly, saying He was not worthy for Jesus to come into His house. He believed Jesus could just say the words and his servant would be healed.
Such faith! Jesus said to his disciples. Furthermore…
Moved by the faith of the centurion, a Gentile, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach a lesson about heaven. Many will come from many nations and enter heaven. It is a place of rest, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be reclining at the table. And what’s more, some will be cast out into the darkness that were possibly thought to be saved.
Jesus finishes the lesson by establishing it as truth. He sends the centurion on his way and the servant was healed in that very moment. How did we know, scripture told us, but also, Jesus Christ said so.
Jesus Christ says that we can be in heaven, reclining at a table with the Bible heroes we’ve only read about. He says that many will travel from all types of places. His excitement has turned into my excitement.
I’m ready for that heavenly reunion, aren’t you?