I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 NIV
Recently I have been arranging play dates for my son with classmates. My hope in arranging these play dates is that my son makes friends. His best and really only friend from class moved this past fall and he has yet to find someone to take his place.
He doesn’t complain. In fact I think in part it is because he doesn’t think he needs friends. He is content to do his own thing. But as his mom, I want him to form friendships. I know the importance of friendships.
Aside from arranging play dates, I have also been praying for him to find a positive friend. I think we can all agree who our friends are influences who we become. For better or worse. Friends can build us up and positively influence us or they can tear us down and negatively influence us.
How often have we heard it said – “They fell in with the wrong crowd” – to describe someone whose life took a sudden turn for the worse? Or the phrase – “They have friends in high places?” Or –“They are well-connected?” Connections are important.
Which is why this next Identity truth really hits home – we are a friend of Jesus. Have you ever heard that or considered that? I recently listened to a podcast sermon from Levi Lusko where he phrased it this way:
Friends changes everything… God wants to be your friend forever…He wants to do this life with you.
I had never stopped to consider this on a personal level. Jesus is my friend. Jesus is our friend. Truly he is the most important friend we could ever make. The most life changing. Life-giving. Positive friendship we could have. He tops the charts of the most influential person we could associate with hand down.
I want Jesus on my side. He is the ultimate friend in high places who holds power and influence in more ways than I can fully grasp or understand. Yet in his love and mercy, he desires to be our friend. To know us on a personal level. To be in fellowship with us. Us! Me and you! That thought right there is so mind-blowing and simultaneously humbling to me.
So how does this truth practically change us? I think it reframes our relationship with Jesus. When we consider Jesus as a friend, we approach him differently. Especially as we consider how we relate with our friends. Who do we call to share good news? Who do we call when we get the devastating blow of bad news? Whose company do we regularly seek? Who is our best friend?
Ultimately, we want all the answers to those questions to be our best friend, our closest friend and our closest friend should be Jesus. Do we go to him first? Is our initial reaction to good news to immediately thank him? Is our immediate reaction to bad news to cry out to him in prayer? Do we regularly seek his company? Do we talk to him on a regular basis? Our answers should be yes. But I will be honest, oftentimes I reach out for my flesh and blood friends I can see, hear and touch in times when I need the support of a friend instead of Jesus first.
For those of us who feel lonely, who might not even have a flesh and blood friends we can see, hear or touch, we are never alone if we are in Christ. Jesus is always with us. He is our friend, even when we don’t have physical friends to turn to.
Take heart friend. Jesus is the only friend that will never disappoint, never abandon, never betray. He is always faithful, always pursuing us, always loving, and he always has our best in mind. We can trust Jesus fully.
So today friend, as we go about our day, may we remember we are a friend of Jesus. We are well-connected. We have a friend in a very high place! And that friend is but a whisper and a prayer away. Always ready with a listening ear. May we go forth in the freedom and confidence that we are a friend of Jesus.