I Call You Friends

Today we look at John 15:15, “I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.” (CSB) Jesus has been talking about how we are “grafted” into Him, as He compares Himself as the Vine and we are the branches. We are to grow and produce fruit and He talks about producing fruit. He tells us that if we love Him, we will follow His commandments. All these things Jesus shares because He calls us His friends.

J. Vernon McGee talks about our verse in his commentary on John by saying, “He tells us that He has opened up His heart to us. God wants to reveal Himself to us. Remember how He searched out Abraham to reveal His plan to him because Abraham was His friend. Now Jesus tells us that He has revealed the things of God to us. That is what a friend does. How many people can you go to and open up your heart? One of the things that should characterize a believer is that you could go to him and tell him your problems and get understanding and help and encouragement from him. This is how we are to love one another.”

True friends will be able to confide in each other without fear of reprisals or being rejected. When we need a shoulder to cry on or need a solution to a problem, a good friend will do their best to help us. Jesus is that kind of friend. The question is, are we the same kind of friend to Him? Obviously, He doesn’t need our help with anything, but He does desire a relationship with us, one where we take time out of each day to spend with Him. Just to relish that friendship of enjoying the time together, telling Him what we desire to accomplish, and how much we love him, and He, responding with what He wants to see blossom and grow in our lives and telling us how much He loves us.

If all we did when we met with Him was give Him our laundry lists of what we want Him to do for us and didn’t take the time to learn from Him or follow His leading, we would be miserable friends. It would be a one-sided friendship. If all we needed was for Him to give us things like He was a candy machine, there would not be much love for Him on our part. Yes, He wants to hear the desires of our hearts, He wants us to pour out our broken hearts to Him, He wants to hear of our struggles and pain. But if that’s all we did and didn’t reciprocate in a way that showed Him how much we love Him, it would be a shallow friendship.

So, how do we develop a friendship with Jesus? As we’ve mentioned, spending time in prayer. This is to be a conversation. Yes, we talk to Him, but we must also listen to Him. Give Him time to speak to us. We must let Him tell us what is on His heart! Take time to draw closer to Him through Bible reading and study, learning more of who He is. He wants an intimate relationship with us, and He wants our adoration and worship. Just as He spent time with Moses regularly, (Exodus 33:11) He should be our Best Friend and we should treasure the time we spend with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14 ESV)

We should also appreciate His counsel and trust Him when He must correct us. When a friend points out something that we need to fix in our lives, if they are a true friend, they will do it lovingly with our best interest at heart. God does that too! But do we look at His correction as getting beat over the head, or do we see it as His desire to see us be the best “us” we can be?

In John 15:14, Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (ESV) Not only do we need to listen to what God says, but we must also obey Him. If we are obedient, we are showing our love for Him. With our obedience comes peace, contentment, and joy. We rejoice in the time we spend with Him, and He rejoices in our love and obedience to Him.

The more we spend time with Him, the more He will share His heart with us and ask us to share our hearts with Him. When we make our friendship with Jesus a priority in our lives, the closer the bond we will have with Him and the sweeter the relationship with Him will be.

Are you a friend of Jesus? If not, I challenge you to be a friend of Jesus. He will never fail you or let you down because the Bible says Jesus is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

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