Dear friends, I trust that the Lord had been keeping and blessing you. In this world there are all kinds of friends and friendships, some close and intimate, some mere acquaintances. It’s easy to be a casual friend than a caring friend. It’s easier to fear than to follow. It’s easy to sacrifice than to obey (1 Samuel 15:22). Likewise, it’s easy to believe and fear God (James 2:19) than to love Him (John 14:15). The Lord Jesus wants us to be His friends, not mere servants. How’s our relationship with Him today?
I’d like for us to turn to John 15:15-17. In these verses the Lord Jesus took the relationship with His disciples to a new and higher level. This was when He called them “friends.” This day and age we may just yawn it off but back then friendships were blood covenants (Genesis 15:9-21, Matthew 26:27). To become one’s friend, back then, meant that we were responsible for their safety and well-being. Back then, a friend became his/her friend’s keeper (Genesis 4:9, Philippians 2:4). Notice that the Lord Jesus called only His disciples, and not the crowd, His friends. The Apostles/disciples were those that followed Him to the end (Matthew 19:27, Revelation 2:10) and went through the disciple training program (Matthew 16:24, Luke 10:1-23). One could say that they earned a right be to His friends.
There are some other significant differences between being merely followers and friends. A friend is intimate enough to understand his/her friends deepest needs and goals (John 15:15). If you love someone, you know their needs and desires without them having to spell them out. A servant merely does what he/she is told while a friend comprehends the needs/wants in a friendship and fulfills them without being asked. A servant merely does his/her duty while a friend goes the extra mile to do that which wasn’t requested (Matthew 5:41). A friend knows his/her friend’s business, a servant needs to be told what that business is.
Our Lord Jesus was not only God’s only begotten Son but like Abraham, is also God’s intimate friend (Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23). He’s blessed over all (Romans 9:5) because He voluntarily (John 10:8) accepted the responsibility of being a Son and friend of God. Who are we today saints? Are we merely His servants or His friends? God is seeking sons/daughters not mere slaves. I hope we’re growing in His friendship and being empowered by that intimacy. Amen.
Have a great week saints🙂.