Monday, May 9, 2016

Wouldn't That Be Somethin'?



 In 1998, Wayne Watson published a song called “Wouldn’t That Be Somethin’?” One portion of this song has captured my imagination for 18 years. The premise of the song is that the author is imagining what it would have been like to be a friend of Jesus when he was walking upon the earth. He says, “wouldn’t that be something?” The line that always catches my attention every time is, “I wanna be the kind of friend that Jesus would call.” Here it is in the broader context of the song:

I wanna be the kind of friend that Jesus would call
Yeah, you know if He had a telephone
At the end of the day
Just to talk about nothin', nothin'

Yeah, I wanna be the kind of friend He'd wanna be around
You know without a word, without a sound
Wouldn't that be somethin', somethin', yeah

The “kind of friend that Jesus would call” is a concept that inspires many thoughts: “What kind of friend am I?” “What kind of friend would Jesus call?” “Who are the friends of Jesus?” “Did Jesus actually enjoy hanging out with his friends?” “Did he find some of his friends dull?” “Did he wish to get away from some who wanted to hang out with him?” “How did he handle his celebrity status?”

Jesus truly was a celebrity. Celebrities in the first century were often the religious or political leaders of the day. Jesus was seen as both a religious and political leader and so a great many people traveled large distances just to see him or to touch his clothing. Some climbed into trees just to catch a glimpse of him. Jesus experienced the temptation of celebrity-ism. He was tempted to think of himself as special and more important than others. Certainly, he was special and important and so he had to guard his attitude toward others.

In one sense, because Jesus regarded all men and women with an equal love, we would all be the kind of person that Jesus would call, “if he had a telephone.” Yet, Watson is also speaking of striving to be the kind of person that Jesus would want to call and want to hang out with and want to sit with to “talk about nothin'.” What kind of person would that be?

I would suggest that it would be someone who had the same interests as Jesus. Jesus’ interests were all about his Father’s work. No, I don’t mean the carpentry business of his earthly father, but rather, the Kingdom of God interests of God the Father. As such, Jesus’ interests were the same as the Father’s interests: justice, life, beauty, joy, mystery, love, care for others, healing of pain, healing of wrongs . . . . Truly, that is the kind of person I desire to be, even as I fail miserably at caring about such things and gravitate toward my own self-interest or perhaps to the interests of my immediate family.

Which brings us to the next point, Jesus, as one who strove to be humble and recognize the temptations of being seen as a celebrity, would also encourage me to be humble and recognize my inability to be pure and righteous and self-less. He would be patient with my desire to “be somebody” and with my desire to have my own needs met. He would still want to be my friend even as he saw the ugly side of me.

At the end of one of Jesus’ long days of work, what would he need from those friends who sat around with him? Perhaps it would be that he would want to “talk about nothin’” or not talk at all. Perhaps he would need to be encouraged, blessed, worshiped, and honoured. Perhaps he would need his feet washed in silence. Could I do that? Could you? “Wouldn't that be somethin', somethin', yeah!

Wouldn't That Be Somethin'?
I had this dream and You were in it
There was this party and You were there
Simple evening with just a few close friends
People were pressing for Your attention

You were patient, everybody could see
But all the time You were lookin' round the room for me
But hey, after all, it's my dream

I wanna be the kind of friend that Jesus would call
Yeah, you know if He had a telephone
At the end of the day
Just to talk about nothin', nothin'

Yeah, I wanna be the kind of friend He'd wanna be around
You know without a word, without a sound
Wouldn't that be somethin', somethin', yeah

Is that so hard to imagine
The Lord Jesus as a friend like that
Spending time in the pleasure of your company
True companion like no other

You never had a friend like this
If you're havin' a little trouble believing
Come on, put yourself in my dream

I wanna be the kind of friend that Jesus would call
Yeah, you know if He had a telephone
At the end of the day
Just to talk about nothin', nothin'

Yeah, I wanna be the kind of friend He'd wanna be around
You know without a word, without a sound
Wouldn't that be somethin', somethin', yeah


Words and music by Wayne Watson. Copyright 1998 Material Music (Admin. by WORD MUSIC) / Word Music (A div. of WORD MUSIC) / ASCAP

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