Do you know Jesus calls you friend?
You are my friends. . .
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.
Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (John 15:13-16 Message Bible).
In this post you will learn:
- Jesus calls you friend
- What’s the nature of this friendship
- What’s the proof of this friendship
- What’s this friendship based on
1. Jesus Calls You Friend
Conversational Prayer is about being His friend. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? Wherever you find a healthy relationship, you find friendship. Even in a happy marriage a husband and wife can be best friends.
What a great thing to hear a Father say, not only my son but my friend. Likewise, when Jesus said, you are my friends, He meant more than You are My disciples’ and you are My followers.
He could have said, you are my acquaintances. But when He said, you are my friends He went beyond anything else. I think that the Lord Jesus found joy in His heart when He used that phrase. Can’t you see the satisfaction of His heart in this word, friend?
What must the disciples felt when they heard, Ye are my friends? You can’t go any deeper in a relationship than to come into friendship. How rich and how precious to hear these words, you are my friend!
Think about the picture of the new Jerusalem at the end of the Bible when it says: “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones” (Revelation 21:19).
I see the foundation of that city is most precious, and I sense the most precious foundation of life is friendship. The new Jerusalem will be built upon the foundation of the friendship between the Lord Jesus and His own.
Finally, do you see the connection of the foundation of the city and Conversational Prayer in Revelation 21:19?
2. What’s the Nature of This Friendship?
We have it in John 15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does, but I have called you friends: for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you.”
Friendship makes it possible to open your heart fully, nothing hidden; and to have confidence you can trust the other person with all that is in your heart.
Jesus said, “All that the Father has shown Me I have shown you. I have kept nothing back from you. I have put perfect confidence in you. I have had no suspicions of you and have not been afraid to say just what was in My heart.”
How wonderful is that?!
But look at the Gospel of John and Chapter two. “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did.
But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, and because he needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).
Jesus knows all men, so He doesn’t commit Himself to them… “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus” (John 3:1), and you see that Jesus knew Nicodemus and He did not commit Himself to him. Nicodemus was not in the place of a friend yet.
Before the burial of Jesus Nicodemus wasn’t his friend but afterword something had happened to him by that time. Jesus means in effect, Before I can commit Myself to you, Nicodemus, you must be born again.
Once you’re born again your friendship with Jesus begins. Yes, Jesus tells us that the real nature of friendship is to commit yourself to Him. Isn’t that precious?
There is all the difference between conversation and fellowship and commitment. Friendship means that you have committed yourselves to one another – you have really put yourself into the hands of the other person.
Jesus said friendship means: “All things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” This is Conversational Prayer at it’s finest!
Just think that the Son of God should do that – that He would be willing to commit Himself to some people.
3. What’s the Proof of This Friendship?
First, it’s committing yourself to Jesus.
So when Jesus said this, “Greater love hath no man than this. That a man lay down his life for his friends” is the proof of friendship. How much are you prepared to sacrifice, to suffer and to put up with?
“A man lays down his life for his friends.” What does that mean? Does that mean physically dying in some way for your friends?
There are a thousand ways of laying down your life for your friends. It’s a matter of laying down our lives all the time – not just some big act of physically dying for our friends.
Letting something of ourselves go, letting some personal interest go and just saying, That is not so important – it is for my friend. Friendship makes everything else unimportant.
Finally, what is laying down our life? There’s many ways of laying down our life. It’s understanding that nothing is too valuable or important to be kept from our friend. It does not matter what it costs, or how painful it is – friendship makes it possible.
There’s only one man in all the Bible who was called God’s friend. “Abraham… the friend of God” (James 2:23). What a wonderful thing to be said of any man – “Abraham, my friend.”
How could God call Abraham His friend? What made Abraham a friend of God? “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love… and offer him” (Genesis 22:2).
Did Abraham say? You’ve got to be kidding me. Isaac is too precious. He is everything to me. No way, I can’t offer him!
No, Abraham did not talk like that. I don’t think Abraham started out being called God’s friend but as he journeyed with God a deep friendship developed.
How precious when it says, “And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and he clave the wood for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:3).
I don’t know about you, I bet that if you were faced with the decision to offer your only son you wouldn’t get up early in the morning! Why could Abraham do it?
Why not put it off and stay in bed as long as possible? But it says, “Abraham rose early in the morning.” What was he about to do? He was about to enter right into the heart of God in giving his only begotten son, and enter right into fellowship with the passion of God’s heart.
“God so loved… that He gave His only begotten Son.” It was because Abraham was God’s friend. He had entered right into the heart of God and counted nothing too precious for friendship with God.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”, and his act of offering Isaac was proof Abraham indeed laid down his life.
4. What’s the Basis of This Friendship?
Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him in the coming days, and it was getting near to the day when they would all leave Him, and yet, knowing all that, He said, Ye are my friends.
More was happening than meets the eye. Jesus was looking beyond the Cross, and seeing the day would come when these men would stand firmly on the ground of the Cross and resurrection.
Jesus knew what was going to happen in the next few days, but He was always speaking to them about afterward. Human failure is never the last thing and was not going to be the end of everything.
Remember Peter’s failure? Poor Simon Peter, “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.
Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (Luke 22:32 Message Bible).
You are going to have a terrible fall, but that is not going to be the end. You will turn again and you will have a great ministry afterward.
But Jesus also saw something else. He knew that before long they would receive the Holy Spirit and would be governed by Him.
And when the Holy Spirit has full possession a person can be trusted. These men could not be trusted without the Holy Spirit, but when He came in, then Jesus could depend upon them.
Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t be governed by personal interests, but they would live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And Jesus said, “Based on the fact you are My friends, and that day is as though it is now. You are My friends because I know that you are men standing on the firm foundation of the Cross and resurrection.”
This is the basis of friendship. If we live on your own human resources then the Lord will never be able to depend upon you, but if you’re governed by the Holy Spirit, the Lord has all that’s necessary for Him to say, You are my friends. That makes me want to shout for joy.
Many times we don’t know how weak we are, but He knows. Yes, the disciples were men of many weaknesses and many failures and often they didn’t have a clue what was going on. They said the wrong thing and many times did the wrong thing, but Jesus knew that He had their hearts.
Has He captured your heart? Do you have a heart for Him? You may have made mistakes, but He knows all about that, and He knows if you have a heart for Him.
They had a heart for the Lord, and that is the basis of friendship. And He is saying to you too, Have I really got all your heart? I know all about your weaknesses and your failures, but, really, is your heart on my side?
Finally, the Holy Spirit is not somebody who came at Pentecost many years ago. He’s here today and can be in you, and if He really has the control of your life the one thing which concerns you most is, How does my life affect the Lord Jesus? Are you His friend?