Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.” We’ve been unwrapping eternal gifts that Jesus is waiting to give us and how those gifts will shape our minds and hearts as we walk through our daily lives. This next gift our Lord gives us to open, FRIENDSHIP, is a present that our Savior wants to use to liberate us from the lies our enemy would have us believe.
Jesus always speaks the truth. He reminds us of this when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is truth. And when we receive the gift of His friendship, we enter into a special bond unlike any other. This is a hard concept for me to wrap my brain around. The Savior of the World wants to be my friend? The Holy One desires to treat me as a friend? The Lord Almighty seeks out my life and loves to know how my day is going? Yes, yes, and, yes!
Jesus spoke to the people he did life with in this very fashion: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” It’s easy to read right over the phrase my friends, because in today’s culture the word is used loosely to describe people in our inner circles who may in fact be nothing more than kind acquaintances. But when we look at how the word was used in Scriptures a beautiful picture of how much Jesus thinks about you and me is painted.
The Greek word for friend is ‘philos’which means someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection. (HelpsBible.com) When the world tells us that our lives are meaningless, or that we don’t matter Jesus calls us friend. When someone says that we aren’t good enough, Jesus says we are his prized possessions!
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus said this to his disciples and when we open our Bibles and read the same words, an arresting truth appears. You are such a true friend of Jesus that there is no greater love that anyone will ever be able to give you. He loves you more than anything and He proved it when he lay down his life on the cross!
By position, we are no longer slaves to this world or anything it has to offer. We are adopted sons and daughters of the Living God! Jesus extends his hands to us in friendship so we may avoid the legalistic approach to relationships and our faith walk. Real friends don’t keep a record of wrongs, just as our heavenly Father doesn’t hold on to even one of our sins: as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12) Friendship with Jesus is the only bond that will help us know how loved and forgiven we really are.