Friends of Jesus (11-05-22)
Bible Reading: John 15:12-17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.
Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last,
and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
This is my command: Love each other.
Moving around, as we have done over the years, has had both positive and negative effects on our friendships. On the negative side we have many good friends who we see only rarely, while on the positive side we have many good friends in many places around the country, people with whom we can pick up where we left off, people who understand us and who share our beliefs and values.
I guess the definition of a friend is quite wide, from someone who ‘likes’ you on social media, to an acquaintance through membership of a group, to someone you choose to meet socially and through to someone with whom you choose to share your life.
I wonder how you would define friendship, and who you would call a friend. Why not give thanks to God now for your friends and for all they bring to your life. Pray also for God’s blessing on them.
Friendship is a matter of choice. It is often said that you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends; and the amazing thing is that Jesus chose to call us his friends.
When Jesus refers to us as his friends, he certainly wasn’t thinking of friendship in social media terms, nor was it just the friendship of being part of a group of followers. Friends, for Jesus, were people with whom he would share his life, people who would share his vision and continue his work. People who would also share their lives with him, their joys and their sorrows, their needs and their thanksgiving, their successes and their failings.
In today’s reading Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants… Instead, I have called you friends.’ Maybe this is akin to the Queen’s ladies in waiting. She is both their Queen and their friend. When it comes to your relationship with God, would you see it more in terms of servanthood or friendship? How might you move it more towards friendship?
The relationship that Jesus wants to have with each one of us is that of friendship. How might it affect your day if you were to live it in the assurance that you are indeed a friend of Jesus?
I am amazed, Lord Jesus, that you call me ‘friend’.
Help me to be faithful to you as you are faithful to me.
What a friend I’ve found