'Day One' Blog

Jesus, the Friend – March 07, ’20

(This entry is one of four that will draw from John, chapters thirteen through seventeen. The purpose is to allow us a deeper look into the character of Jesus in the final hours of His ministry. It will enhance the way we see Him as He approaches Gethsemane and beyond)

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Meditation for the Soul ~

“This is my commandment,
that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do what I command you.
No longer do I call you servants,
for the servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all that I have heard from my Father
I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you that you should go
and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name,
He may give it to you.
These things I command you,
so that you will love one another.
John 15:12-17
I have manifested Your name to the people
whom You gave me out of the world.
Yours they were, and You gave them to Me,
and they have kept Your word.
Now they know that everything
that You have given Me is from You.
For I have given them the words that You gave Me,
and they have received them
and have come to know in truth
that I came from You;
and they have believed that You sent me.
I am praying for them.
John 17:6-9

Reflection for the Mind ~

When Jesus died at Calvary, His companions lost not only their master and teacher but their friend. What would it have been like to be befriended by the sinless Savior and experience His friendship?  A prayerful read through the gospels looking for Jesus, the friend, would yield more than we might imagine.

Only a few hours before the Lord was betrayed and arrested, He spoke to His disciples about friendship. It was important enough to Him to be included in those final exchanges (John 15). It was also very much on His mind as He spoke to the Father in what we refer to as the high priestly prayer (John 17). The care He took of His followers in person and in prayer is astonishing in light of what He was about to endure. But apparently that is one of the qualities of true friendship, giving no thought of oneself when one’s friends are in need.

Have we thanked Jesus lately for His friendship to us? C.S. Lewis said in his book The Four Loves, that friendship (Philos) “has no survival value, rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”  In other words, we can survive without Philos, but we cannot appreciate the gift it is to be alive without it. How very loving of God to include friendship as one of the ways He relates with us.

Jesus does not have to approach us as friends, but it pleases Him to do so. And of course, His is a friendship like no other, with qualities we will never experience with anyone else in the same way we will with Him. It’s worthy to contemplate as Easter approaches. The man hanging on the cross was among many other things, the truest friend.

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, You are the “friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverbs 18:24). You are the friend who laid down His life as a demonstration of His love, (John 15:12). You are the one who prays for His friends, (John 17:9). That You would approach me with a gift of friendship is inconceivable to me. How can I possibly thank You? Teach me about the beauty of this gift and help me to steward it to bring You glory.
~ Amen

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3 Comments

  • Kirk DeWitt

    1

    I am so moved by these thoughts about Jesus as my friend, as our friend. The timing of his words about friendship are amazing. What a model! I want to reflect back that kind of friendship. I want to pay forward that kind of friendship. Please, Lord, empower me to be more like you.

    • Anne Barbour

      2

      The whole reality of friendship with God is beyond me, really. It's like Christmas every day!

  • Gail

    3

    It is amazing that the God of the universe would want to be our friend!! It is so wonderful that we can tell Him anything and everything! We are blessed!!!! Thanks Anne!! Good word!!

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