“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” – John 15:15.
Making friends these days is as easy as clicking on “friend request” on your Facebook page, but is that the true measure of friendship? For Christians, Jesus has many names in scripture, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, The Messiah, Son of God, Emmanuel, but one we sometimes forget is Friend. He is also our perfect example of friendship. If you were to list all the qualities of your best friend, Jesus has those qualities; Jesus was loyal, brave, humble, honest, compassionate, protective, encouraging, dependable, faithful, kind, loving, forgiving and completely sacrificial just to name a few.
There are those in the Bible that were called friends of God. Abraham was called a friend of God. (Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23) The Lord would speak to Moses face-to-face, as one speaks to a friend. (Exodus 33:11)
Think about that for a second: having the infinite, all-powerful, holy God of the universe as a friend. The staggering truth is He wants you to know Him personally and to discover what it means to walk with Him every day. He wants you to know He is with you, and He wants to have communication with you through His Word and through prayer. He has a specific, unique destiny for you. God’s purpose for you is bigger than your mistakes. No matter how many mistakes you make, God will not stop guiding you. Most friends will fail you but God never will. God’s power, knowledge, and love are unending, yet it amazes me that God wants to be my friend.
In the Garden of Eden, there was a simple loving relationship between God and the people He created. Adam and Eve delighted in God, and He delighted in them. But the fall changed that. But what has not changed is God’s will for us to live in His presence. Jesus came to make that friendship possible again by dying for our sins. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul put it like this, “All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.”(2 Corinthians 5:18 GNT) And John 15:13 adds, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
We become a friend of God through faith and love, by reading and meditating on God’s word and through continual conversation with our heavenly Father and then living for Him. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. We become friends with God when we choose friendship with Him above all other friendships, above all other friends, above all else. We all need a friend like Jesus.
- Describe your closest human friendship. What characteristics make it strong?
- What stands in the way of deepening your friendship with Jesus this week/month/year?
- The friendship we enjoy with Jesus is meant to be shared by loving others. What specific ways will you reach out to others in friendship this week?