Who do you say I am? #8. “Friend.”

Who do you say I am? #8. “Friend.”

Jesus is no ordinary leader. Unlike the self-serving unbeliever, he practiced the virtues he expects his followers to carry out. He commands his disciples to: “Do as I say AND as I do.” We are to live up to a standard of love based on his love for his enemies. Paul says,

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).

Through his ultimate sacrifice he offered his enemies—that’s all of us—Friendship. We can have this friendship if we accept his gift and submit to his Lordship. “Greater love has no one than this” he said, “that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:13-14).

This command is to “love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

John expresses it this way: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

We deem it our greatest honour to be counted as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. We call him “Teacher and Lord,” because that is who he is to all who follow him” (John 13:13). “If anyone serves Me,” he says, “he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him” (John 12:26).

In calling us friends, Jesus is expressing the closeness of our relationship with him. Servants do what they are told without explanation. However, Jesus invites us to hear and to participate in his plans. By his death, burial, and resurrection he saved us. As members in his body, the church, we serve him as he has served us.

John Staiger


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