Friends of God!
“The Lone Ranger and Tonto; Laurel and Hardy. Batman and Robin. It was Snoopy and Charlie. Friends through thick and thin. Friends to the very end. I think you would agree. That’s how it is for You and me.” Geoff Moore and the distance.
We could add to this list, Woody and Buzz, captain America and Bucky. Frodo and Sam. These characters reflect true friendship. When we read and study the Bible we also find great friendships. Abraham and God. God called Abraham his friend. Isa. 41:8; 2 Chr.20:7, James 2:23
-David and Jonathan 1 Sam.18:1-5
-Ruth and Naomi Ruth 1:16-18
-Daniel and his 3 friends Dan.1-3
How about Jesus and his disciples? Jesus chose 12 of his disciples and made them apostles. Jesus gave them a mission to accomplish. They spent about three years listening to Jesus, traveling with him; this group was inseparable. Everywhere Jesus went, his 12 apostles would go. Jesus was invited to a wedding, there went the apostles.
Someone opened her home to Jesus and there came also the twelve. When we read the Bible, you find many metaphors to describe God’s relationship with his people. Father and children; husband and wife, master and slaves, shepherd and sheep, potter and clay, vine and branches.
Teacher and students (Jesus was called by them Rabbi or teacher).
How about friends?
In the gospel, according to John, we read in the 15 chapter where Jesus uses the parable of the vine and the branches to illustrate the importance of his disciples to remain attached to him in order to bear fruit.
Jesus had taught them about love and Jesus had served them out of love. Jesus commanded them to love one another and by so doing prove to the world that they were truly his disciples.
-Remain in my love. It is my obeying Jesus’ teaching that one remains in his love.
-my joy may be in you and may be complete (v.11)
Love each other as I have loved you (v.12)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
v.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. If you follow my instructions, you are my friends.
The relationship between Jesus and his apostles changed from being servants to being friends. Jesus called his apostles friends from this moment on in their lives.
The reason why Jesus called them friends (15) A servant (slave) does not know his master’s business. (doesn’t know what his master is doing)
A slave doesn’t know the master’s business. But friends know each other’s business. You are my friend because what I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You are my friends because what I have learned or heard from the Father, I have revealed to you. True friends trust each other with their business. Jesus entrusted to his disciples the knowledge of God and his kingdom. Jesus had chosen them to be his followers, disciples, apostles and now friends.
There are some lessons we learn from Jesus about what it means to be a true friend.
True friends love sacrificially. (Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.v.13). This is exactly what Jesus would be doing for them. He would give his life to save them.
After the last dinner together, they went to the garden and Judas came with the guards. Yes Judas betrayed Jesus and even at that moment when Judas greeted Jesus and kissed him calling him rabbi, Jesus called him friend.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matt.26:50
Jesus demonstrated his love for them by giving his life. Greater love has no one than this that he would lay down his life for his friends.
True friends know each other’s business. Trust each other with their business. Jesus said he called his disciples friends because he had revealed to them what he knew of the father. Jesus trusted them with his business; he entrusted to them God’s kingdom business. In fact, he gave the keys of God’s kingdom to them his friends.
Friends is also a word that describes our relationship with God. Our sins separate us from a holy God, but he provided a way for us to change our status from enemies to friends. God showed his love for us in this while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. His death gave the world a chance to be made friends with God once and for all. His death put an end to the enmity or animosity between us and God. We have been reconciled to God by Jesus’ death on the cross.
Jesus called friends those who believed in him as the Messiah, those who were close to him (the apostles) friends whom he taught to serve and love each other sacrificially. Jesus entrusted his mission, his kingdom business to them commanding them to recruit others to be part of his kingdom.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends; you are my friends if you follow my instructions.