Love and Friendship
Topic: Gospel of John Passage: John 15:12–15:17
In this passage, Jesus explained FOUR MARKS of a true friend of Jesus (i.e., what does it mean to be a friend of Jesus and how do I know if I’m a friend of Jesus?).
1. Friends of Jesus love His friends (vv. 12-13, 17)
All believers have the privilege of being the friend of Jesus. But with this privilege comes great responsibility. We are also expected to lay down our lives for others (i.e., treating others the way that God treats us). Jesus set the ultimate standard for defining a friend that through His sacrificial death. Jesus died so that His enemies could become His friends.
2. Friends of Jesus obey His commands (v. 14)
Obedience is not what makes us friends with Jesus, it is what characterizes the friends of Jesus. If we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 3:36, 14:15), and saving faith is best demonstrated through obedience to Christ (1 Peter 4:17, James 4:4).
3. Friends of Jesus know His plans (v. 15)
Many times in the OT, those who obey are referred to as ‘slaves’ (Luke 17:10). Slaves do those things that ought to be done. But far more than being slaves of Christ, Jesus refers to His followers as ‘friends’. Knowing the plans of one’s master is what distinguishes a slave from a friend (i.e., Genesis 18:16). Of all the friends you have made in this life, there is no better friend than Jesus.
4. Friends of Jesus answer His call (v. 16)
The disciples of Jesus became haughty and considered their mentorship with Jesus to be the result of their decision, but Jesus first chose His disciples by His sovereign grace (John 6:44, 65) so that they would have no cause to boast.
We have graciously and sovereignly been chosen by God to share the good news of the gospel with the rest of the world. But we can only do this through the love that Jesus showed to us first. Praise God for choosing you for salvation. Thank Jesus for willingly laying down His life for you and for being such a faithful friend to you. Ask Him to help you love others like He has loved you.