Friends of Christ

Click here to listen to the audio recording of this 24-minute sermon. Or watch the video on Facebook (message starts at about 27 minutes). Or read the brief text summary below.

In John 15:12-17, Jesus declares that we are his friends. Imagine that! Friends of Christ!

Indeed, there are only a few times Jesus uses the word ‘friend’ – a total of 22 in the Gospels, of which two thirds are in parables or Jesus referring to others’ critique of him (e.g., he is a friend of sinners). In two places he refers to his disciples as ‘my friends’ and in three he speaks to individuals – the man lowered by his friends through the roof, Lazarus and Judas (just as Jesus was being arrested). And then 3 times in John 15.

Friendship means many things to us – loyalty, openness, trust, dependability, truth, safety, comfort, and so on. And Jesus is all these things as our friend.

In John 15, he asks two things of us as his friends.

First, he says we are his friends if we do what he commands. And what does his command? That we love each other – this command comes up repeatedly in this passage. When we read that we must love others ‘as’ Christ loves us, that might seem a bit daunting. It implies a standard that is above us – to love like Christ loves. But the Greek word can also be translated ‘from’, implying a source beneath or from within us. In this sense, we are called to love others out of the abundant love that we already experience from Christ. His command is simple – not easy, but simple: love each other or have a heart for each other. As 1 John 4:5 says, God’s “commands are not burdensome.” Indeed, there is just one command – to love others

Second, Jesus says in v15, that he no longer calls us servants (who don’t know their master’s business) but friends (because he has shared with us everything God has told him). In effect, Jesus says that we are friends in that we are privy to the mind and heart of God. God reveals to us what is important to God, so we can follow God out of knowing and understanding, rather than out of blind or fearful obedience. That’s what is means to be a friend. And this passage tells us that there is one primary motivation behind everything that God does – one primary point on God’s agenda – love!

So, this week, I encourage you to reflect on what it means and feels like to be loved be God and to be Christ’s friend, to experience the fullness of Christ’s love for us, and to share it with those around us.

You are Christ’s friend!

2 thoughts on “Friends of Christ

  1. Genevieve Geekie says:

    SO happy to have you back on line, dear Adrian

    Love

    Gen

    On Sun, May 9, 2021 at 4:06 PM Reflections of God’s Love wrote:

    > Adrian van Breda posted: ” Click here to listen to the audio recording of > this 24-minute sermon. Or watch the video on Facebook (message starts at > about 27 minutes). Or read the brief text summary below. In John 15:12-17, > Jesus declares that we are his friends. Imagine that! Fr” >

    Like

    • Hi Gen! Good to be back

      Blessings, Adrian

      From: Reflections of God’s Love Sent: 10 May 2021 12:30 To: advanbreda@gmail.com Subject: [Reflections of God’s Love] Comment: “Friends of Christ”

      Respond to this comment by replying above this line

      New comment on Reflections of God’s Love

      Genevieve Geekie commented on Friends of Christ

      Click here to listen to the audio recording of this 24-minute sermon. Or watch the video on Facebook (message starts at about …

      SO happy to have you back on line, dear Adrian

      Love

      Gen

      Like

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