An idea so radical most missed its significance. Who would be your best friend?
What makes that friendship special to you? Is it the way in which you connect over a hobby or a sport? Perhaps you both share an array of shared experiences or adventures together? Maybe it was forged over a lot of years or over a common interest or in a short amount of time on a shared experience. Whatever it was, there was sure to be a certain amount of chemistry involved with the two of you.
A good friendship endures. It walks in sunshine and rain. It will stick around when the going gets tough and celebrates in good times. A great friend will laugh and cry with you, it will seek out restitution and will tell you the things you probably don’t want to hear about yourself. Friends care for friends.
Jesus close friend John thought back to the night before the crucifixion. He thought about the words Jesus had used as he neared the end of the supper that night. Jesus leaned back and looked at the men gathered with Him in the upper room. Jesus knew what was about to come, they had no idea that in a few hours they would be scattered to the wind after Jesus’ arrest.
“You are my friends if you do what I have commanded you.
I no longer call you servants, for a servant doesn’t know what His master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15: 14-15
John is the only one who recorded this part of the conversation. He never calls himself in his gospel by name but calls himself the ‘disciple that Jesus loved’. John’s memory here swirls back to that night and he picks up a key part of the conversation that reveals the heart of God. Jesus shows us that God desires an intimate relationship with us, not a superficial one. Not a relationship of obligation or of service and duty, but one where our love compels us to love others because of what Christ has done for us.
Jesus’ invitation here is to more than a servant relationship. Jesus desires for us is to share that chemistry of friendship. That deep close connection that sustains and allows us to be who we really are, say what is on our hearts and minds and still be loved for it.
Jesus’ invitation to become more than just a follower is still extended today to each one of us. His heart has huge capacity for friendship as we follow our Lord and Saviour.