An old hymn we used to sing in my childhood church was, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” I liked picturing Jesus as my friend, giving hugs when needed and walking through the meadows of heaven, holding my hand and chatting for all eternity. It always brought me comfort. Now let’s explore John’s description of how he saw Jesus. A man in a full length robe, white head and hair, eyes like flames of fire, feet like refined brass, a two edged sword coming out of his mouth and a voice that sounded like rushing water. John fell to his feet as though he were dead. Wow, I don’t know about you but I don’t have any friends that resemble that description or who would cause me to fall down as if I were dead. Not the quintessential picture I had in my mind of my first encounter with Jesus. Yet the first words he said were “Do not be afraid.” With trembling in both my body and voice I could see myself saying, “Ok Jesus, whatever you say.” Or perhaps more sarcastically “are you kidding, do not be afraid ok well lose the sword in the mouth and then we’ll talk.” Then he says,” I have the keys to death and Hades.” Well now we’re talking friendship. He has our back as a friend should, protecting us from the most heinous potential future; death and Hades. My biggest revelation of this part of Revelation is that we most certainly do have a Friend in Jesus.