“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.”
One of the most commonly asked questions to a little child that has just joined school would be “How many friends have you got?” or “Who are your friends?” etc. As a society, we would love to stay connected and have realized the need to have a support system in a friend right from the very early age. In most of our lives, it is the friend who plays an important role and knows our secrets as they being peers seem to understand us better. Often with experience, friends know with all certainty our unspoken words, hidden emotions and our preferences. It always gives us pride when our friends acknowledge, “How did you even spill out what was there on my mind, I was thinking exactly the same”. The influence of our support system is so huge that there is a good matching of frequency that exists between the friends to continue as friends. But here is a peculiar case, where a completely different person whose traits cannot be matched with any of us calls us to be His friends. The verse we are meditating upon for this month shows us how sincere a friend Jesus is.
Jesus is a Thoughtful friend: We could have very well been called as servants especially when we follow a Servant Leader, Jesus Christ. He associated Himself as the one who came to serve yet He was thoughtful about the bond He wanted to build up with us. He knows the existential difference as well as the distance between a Master and a Servant, and hence with all authority, He declares us as his friends. We would not like to associate ourselves with someone who does not suit our attributes, we would not choose them to be our friends. On the contrary Jesus, the thoughtful friend who is always mindful of us says “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” (John 15:16). He not only chooses us to call us as His friends but also gives us access to the Father so that we may be abundantly blessed.
Jesus is a True friend: Jesus’ keen intention is in letting us know what the purpose of our lives are. He wants our eyes to be open and vigilant to what the Master is doing. He wants to share all that His Father has made known to Him. When He calls us as His friends, He indeed means it. As we read in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends”, The friendship of Jesus is so true and brimming with love that He gave Himself for His friends.
Jesus is a Transparent friend: Even we may opt to open up only a major part of our lives to our friends, there may be occasions when we would like to keep certain secrets to ourselves. The friendship which Jesus extends is so transparent, that He would like to share “ALL THINGS” that He hears from His father. It is quoted “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. If Jesus is so transparent to us and voluntarily comes to the most undeserving souls to build a friendship, are we being transparent in our other relationships? Will people around recognize us as Jesus’ friends?
My dear friends in Christ, as we begin a New Year filled with new challenges and opportunities may we cherish the Treasured Friend in Jesus, who has come down to us to own us, love us and lift us. Let us take time to think “If Jesus is our Friend, are people around able to identify you and me as His friends?”