No Longer Servants But Friends
It’s true: Jesus is our friend.
However, it may be helpful to note what friendship with God doesn’t mean. This isn’t a relationship of equals. We don’t think of Jesus as our buddy. Jesus is—and will always be—our king. And yet, it’s also true that our king has invited us to be his friends. He wants us to think of ourselves as friends. He said: “No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends" (John 15:15).
“No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends.” —Jesus
What does this mean? It’s helpful to think about what it means to be a servant and to be a friend. A servant only comes when there’s something to do, but a friend is welcome anytime. A servant is told what to do, but a friend is told why. A servant will bring the food to the table, but a friend eats it with you.
When Jesus gives this contrast, he wants us to see he desires us—he wants us to view ourselves as his dear friends. He wants us near him, near his heart.
God Befriends Us First
What does it look like to live in friendship with God?
First, we have to be befriended by God. Nobody starts out in this life as a friend of God. We are enemies of God; we’ve rejected him. So, we need to come to God by the cross of Christ through faith and repentance, and then we begin to become his friends.
Second, we talk with God. Friendships thrive with communication and conversation. The Bible is a great gift of God wherein he speaks to us and we respond to him in prayer. We should think of Bible-reading and prayer not just as spiritual disciplines, but as the way that we relate to God as a friend. It shouldn’t just be a once-a-day kind of thing; throughout the day, as we meditate on Scripture and we speak with God, we relate to him as a friend.
Finally, we should live life with a great sense of privilege. Jesus wants us to think of ourselves as his friends, and not just his servants. We don’t have to go through any moment of this life fundamentally alone, unknown, or misunderstood because we always have our greatest friend with us.
During every moment of our day, we can walk in friendship with God with a great sense of privilege.
Rosaria Butterfield invites us into her home to show us how God can use “radical, ordinary hospitality” to bring the gospel to our lost friends and neighbors.
Some people have good friendships, some don’t. Friendship—true friendship—requires intentionality and even skill.
We can be assured of Christ's love for us because he gave his life to save us. He is a trustworthy friend.