Being in Christ – Greg Albrecht
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.—John 15:12-17
When we consider our relationship with God we often think of many biblical word pictures. We might, for example, think of the Lord our shepherd and of ourselves as the sheep he gently leads and protects. Another illustration that illuminates our relationship with God is the way the Bible speaks of God as our heavenly Father, and the wonderful truth that we are his spiritually reborn children, adopted into his family, heirs of the riches of his grace.
In our passage Jesus speaks of the eleven disciples (Judas has left them by this time so that he might go and betray Jesus) as his friends. Of course, the honor, privilege and blessing of being his friends didn’t only apply to those specific eleven men who gathered around him in that upper room in Jerusalem. This special relationship is offered to each and every follower of Jesus down through time.
The idea of being a friend of God (as God the Father called Abraham), and a friend of Jesus (as God the Son called his eleven remaining disciples and by extension, all in whom he lives and resides), is rich with its own special meanings. Let’s take some time to consider what it means to be a friend of God.