What Kind of Friend
You are my friends if you do what I command. - John 15:14
On the surface, that seems an odd thing for a potential friend to say. Sounds kind of like the kid that wants to be your friend because you have the cool toy. You know, I'll be your friend if you let me play with your X-Box. But it only seems that way on the surface.
But God's wisdom and understanding reveals a deeper, different meaning.
Jesus said, no greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. That's the kind of friend we're talking about. This man who desires to be our friend is not a take, take, take friend, but one who is willing to, and actually did, lay down His life for us. A friend who walks ahead of us by example. A selfless, giving, friend.
In fact, you might even look at Jesus as the older, wiser brother type of friend.
And understand His heart in saying, "if you do what I command." His intent in instructing us, in commanding us, are pure, for our good. He is the Shepherd-friend, leading us by still waters and making us to lay down in green pastures. What a friend we have in Jesus.
This friendship is a call to a deeper level friendship that goes far beyond that of simply being an acquaintance. Do you want to be close to the heart of Jesus, to know Him more intimately? Do you desire to hear His heartbeat? Then enter into the covenant of obedience with Him. Allow Him to teach you. Take His yoke on.
This type of friendship brings about the confiding of Jesus in us. For He is no fair-weather friend and will not confide in those who are. It is against who He is. He is all-out committed and passionate as a friend and realizes the same in those closest to Him.
Hear Him say, "Will you be my friend?" and accept the challenge, receive the honor. For in doing so, you accept a very great reward as well.
(Photographs by Hannah Grace Furcinitti)