Day 24 John 15:9-17
In John 15:15, Jesus told His disciples, “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” What an amazing statement! They were transitioning in their relationship from a “Here’s your instructions; go do it” to a deeper sense of sharing both the load and their lives. They were becoming friends in the fullest sense of the word.
This raises a very important and personal question: Do you really want to be Jesus’ friend? I don’t mean an acquaintance or someone you occasionally connect with on Facebook; I mean a real friend – someone that you know extremely well and they know you, warts and all.
The disciples had traveled with Jesus for three years before He made this statement. We might think that means that, when we come to Jesus and begin following Him, we have a required “apprenticeship” that lasts a significant amount of time before He will call us His friend. But I do not think that the time (three years) was the significant factor here. I believe the greatest factor that led to a change in the disciple’s relationship with the Lord was their closeness to Him. Over the course of those three years, their intimacy with Christ had grown. Notice what Jesus said in the last half of verse 15… for everything that I learned from my father I have made known to you. Jesus did not withhold personal information from the disciples. He shared things with them that He did not share with the general public.
What usually happens in a friendship when one person shares intimate details of their lives with the other? If the friendship is going to deepen, the other person also shares from their heart. With Jesus and the disciples, I can imagine that they had such moments. I can imagine that Jesus spent some one-on-one with each of them and, during these times, the disciples opened up and shared with the Lord. They did not just communicate at a “Lord-servant” level, but at a place where Jesus became closer to them than their own families.
Isn’t that what God desires with each of us? Doesn’t He want to walk with us on a personal level just as Jesus did with the disciples; just as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden in the cool of the evening? This is a walk of love. And that is what Jesus also told the disciples to do during this conversation in John 15.
In verse 9, He told them, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Remain – dwell in; Live in such a way that demonstrates a closeness in our relationship. How were they to do this? Verse 10 goes on: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Obey the commands – not because you are His servant – but because it demonstrates your love for Him.
The disciples were not perfect. They still had many faults, so it wasn’t a matter of “get your act together first and then we will be friends.” Jesus knew them as they were. He loved them no matter what. The time they had spent in close communion with Him had changed their relationship. It had changed them.
Do you want to be Jesus’ friend? Are you willing to walk closely with Him, to listen closely as He shares with you and, likewise, to be completely honest and open with Him? To walk with the Lord as He had always intended, growing closer each day, we need to spend time with Him. Be sure to acknowledge His constant presence as well as talking with Him about the details of your life.