THE TRUE SIGN OF FRIENDSHIP
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. (WEB)
There are many ebbs and flows in a developing friendship. It usually first begins with two or more people getting to know each other. Lots of questions and pleasantries are exchanged as you discover more and more about each other. Most people are typically on their best behavior in these early stages.
But as you become more comfortable with your new 'friend', you start relaxing and you begin to share things that are on your heart that you wouldn't share in a more distant relationship. As the friendship progresses, the level of intimacy also increases.
In John 13-16, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His impending death on the cross so He begins to share even more openly about the things that matter the most to Him. It is during this conversation with them that He says the words found in today's Bible reading... 'I no longer call you servants... but friends'.
While it is true that Emmanuel (God with us) came down to us, in many ways, when Jesus called His disciples His friends, He was bringing them up to where He lives. Becoming a friend of God is both humbling and honoring at the same time. Jesus practically demonstrated the level of intimacy that He showed to His friends by sharing with them all that His Father had shared with Him, for this was the greatest honor He could bestow on them.
My prayer today is that each one of us would know that our elder brother considers us in the same company as His disciples when He calls us His friends. Everything that He has received from His Father, He has made known to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit that lives in the heart of every believer around the world.
May the Holy Spirit help us today to know on a deeper level that we are not only friends of God, but part of His beloved family too! Without revelation that flows from heaven, this honor bestowed upon us will be at best... words only. May the light and love of our Father flood each one of our hearts today in increasing measure as we reflect on these things.
9 But we see him who has been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for everyone. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” (WEB)