“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15
In school, I had two best friends (I’m not sure how I could have had more than one best friend, but I did). We hugged, talked, shared, smiled, and knew each others’ secrets and dreams. The friendship was more than just having fun with each other. We wanted to bless each other. We loved each other.
Jesus gave the disciples a command to love each other as He loved them. The love that Jesus had for His disciples required Him to go to the cross and take their sins upon Himself. He died and was buried. On the third day, He rose from the dead. After His resurrection, Jesus walked this earth reassuring and instructing His followers. More than 500 people saw Him at one time, 1 Corinthians 15:6. Today, He’s at the right hand of God speaking on our behalf. His focus is on His friends.
Jesus told His disciples all that He heard from the Father. There were no secrets. Although the disciples served Him, He called them His friends.
That kind of friendship cost Jesus everything.
Jesus calls His followers friends if they do what He commands.
James 2:3 tells us that Abraham was called a friend of God because he believed God. If we believe God, we will obey His commands. Abraham left his family and his lifestyle to live as a nomad, moving from one place to another, following God’s guidance.
Abraham was a friend of God.
“It must be active obedience, notice that. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ Some think it is quite sufficient if they avoid what he forbids. Abstinence from evil is a great part of righteousness, but it is not enough for friendship.” (Spurgeon)
Love like Jesus > Active obedience >
Friend of God!
Jesus, thank You for showing us what true friendship means. You gave Yourself for us. You sacrificed everything for us. We want to love like that. Holy Spirit, guide us and transform us by the renewing of our minds. Father, we give You our bodies, hearts, and minds as living sacrifices. Empower us to lovingly obey Your commands. Jesus, Friend of Sinners, we love You and call You our Friend. Amen.
Tell us the actions you will take in 2021 to show Jesus that He is your best friend.