The Friendship of Jesus
I have called you friends’ (John 15:15)
All of us know what it is like to have friendships, perhaps even a ‘special friend’ – one with whom we can really be ourselves; one with whom we can laugh and cry; one we trust implicitly through thick and thin; one who loves us enough even to tell us the truth!
The Bible says that this is the sort of relationship that God wants with people – ordinary people like you and me. In fact, this was one of the things that marked Jesus out. He was a real ‘people person’. He loved making friendships - not with the ‘religious specialists’ of his day (in fact, they found him quite difficult to be with), but with ordinary people. He was a friend to them, and they felt at ease in his presence because of it, no matter what their life had been like in the past. Little wonder that ‘the common people heard him gladly’ (Mark 12:37, kjv). For Jesus, being people’s friends, and helping them to discover the friendship of God, was one of the most important things in life.
This friendship was no ordinary friendship, however. It was the friendship of covenant. In Bible times a ‘covenant’ was a committed promise, a binding and unbreakable contract – a hard concept for us to grasp these days, when we are so used to slick lawyers being able to break anything! But God says: the sort of agreement I want to make with people is one that can’t – and won’t - be broken, no matter what happens; and an agreement that is no mere legal contract - technical, hard, and cold – but a contract of intimacy, loyalty, and true friendship.
Today God wants you to experience and enjoy this promise of a covenant of friendship with him for yourself, being at ease in his presence and sharing the day with him, whatever it may bring. Today, he promises to be our friend!
‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.’ (John 15:13-14)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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