Jesus is not only Lord and Master but the greatest of all friends, who willingly proved His friendship by His death on the cross. By this costly gesture He has won the friendship of millions of men and women from gesture He has won the friendship of millions of men and women from every tongue and tribe and nation. When you pray to Jesus your Friend, you are praying to the One who loved you before you were loveable and who links you together with His many friends throughout the world.
John 15:9-16 – “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Romans 5:6-11 – For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not onlythat, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Jesus, You valued my friendship more than You valued Your life. How can I begin to understand that kind of love? Help me to be among those You count as faithful friends, living in a way not that repays Your friendship, because that is impossible, but in a way that reflects my gratitude. Thank You, my Friend. Amen.
Understanding the Name
The Greek word philos means “friend” or “relative.” Occurring twenty-eight times in the New Testament, it is also used to describe the close relationship that exists among believers, related to each other by virtue of their faith in Jesus. This word is related to phileo, the most general term for “to love” in the New Testament, and to the word philema, which means “a kiss.” In fact, the early Christians used to greet each other with a holy kiss, signifying their close relationship.
John’s gospel indicates that Jesus not only called His disciples His friends but defined His own relationship with them by what was to be the greatest of all acts of friendship, in which He would lay down His life for them. Unlike most men of His day, Jesus had both male and female friends. Luke addressed his gospel to someone named Theophilus, a proper name meaning “friend of God.” ….
Explain in your own words how Jesus defines friendship in the passage from John 15:9-16. Describe the bestfriendship you have ever had. How does it compare with the way you have experienced Jesus’ friendship? How can you deepen your friendship with Christ? If Jesus died for us while we were still His enemies, as Romans 5:6-11 tells us, how should we regard our own enemies?