In the Company of a Friend

by Andy Wood on August 13, 2012

in Allocating Your Resources, Esteem, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance

Something changed that night.  And you are the beneficiary.  But so many things changed in and around that night that this sometimes gets lost in the shuffle and scuffle.

For three-plus years, Jesus-the-Master had been leading a band of twelve full-time followers.  “Disciples,” He called them.  And they did what disciples do.  Listen.  Learn.  Serve.  Make mistakes.  Listen.  Lean some more.  Serve some more.  There were teachable moments and forgettable moments.  Fighting times and healing times.

But just before His death, Jesus was giving these loyal men (Judas had already left) a final round of teaching.  One guy calls this, “Jesus’ Cram for the Final Exam.”  I love it.

Tucked in between these massive concepts about vines and branches and the coming Holy Spirit, Jesus rewrote the contract between Him and those who follow.  Read this carefully:

“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things 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 would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:15-16).

Something changes here in this conversation.  Jesus tells the disciples that their relationship is no longer a matter of master-servant or teacher-disciple.  They are friends.  And that changes everything.  For them then.  For you now.

In the company of a Friend, there is a mutual understanding.  Friends know one another’s actions.  “The slave does not know what his master is doing,” Jesus said.  The implication is that He is opening his life to these men.  His motives, His reasons, His vision, His purpose.  His life remains open to you today.

In the company of a Friend, there is revelation of the heart.  Jesus once said that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).  Here He tells them that He has shared with them all the Father had made known to Him.  That’s what friends do.  They trade secrets.  They share wisdom and insight – not intrusively, but out of love and respect.  He’s still in the business of sharing His heart – and hearing and understanding yours – today.

In the company of a Friend, there is clarity of purpose.  Friends recognize the value they add to the other’s life, and vice-versa.  Jesus told the disciples that they were chosen and appointed.  That they had value to Him and purpose beyond this time they were sharing together.  Can you get used to the idea that like the disciples, you add value to the purposes of Christ today?

In the company of a Friend, there is choice-driven strength.  Friendships based on geography, convenience, or mere feeling eventually go by the wayside.  Friendships based on choice and purpose remain, even past distance, conflict, disappointment, failure, and betrayal.  Jesus is your friend because He chose to be.  Saying yes to His invitation means entering into a whole new kind of connection.

In the company of a Friend, there is lavish generosity.  Far beyond the limitations of material things, friends give something much deeper.  They give their identity to the other.  This is ancient covenant language, surviving today only in a fleeting glimpse in our marriage ceremonies.  I give you My name, Jesus said, that whatever you ask of the Father He may give you.  On the basis of your friendship, you represent Jesus Christ wherever you go – even to the throne room of Heaven.

What a breathtaking privilege to have anyone in your life like that.  What an eternal honor that the Savior of the World would use such a term for the likes of you and me.

Invest your life today in living like a Friend of Jesus.  Understand what He’s doing. Listen to His heart.  Identify with His purposes.  Honor His choice of you as His friend.  And carry His name wherever you go – starting with the way you pray.

You’re in the company of a Friend.  That really can change everything.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando August 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

What a marvelous post, Andy! One of my favorite songs we play in our contemporary worship service is “Friend of God”. Your reflection here reminded me of that song and the great, amazing, astounding privilege we have in Jesus being our friend.
Blessings always!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post .."Help Me If You Can, I’m Feeling Down . . ."

Andy Wood August 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I love that song, too, Martha. Reminds me of Abraham, who was called the friend of God because of his faith.

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