Are You a Friend of Jesus?


The soul that would be free from the false spiritual reckoning of this hour will need to steel itself to a closer walk with God, a calm and heavenly frame of mind.  The aspirant for spiritual wealth and for the ear of God will know much loneliness and will eat much of “the bread of affliction.”  He may not know too much about family or social opposition, on the other hand, he may.  But this is sure, he will know much of soul conflict, and of silences (which may create misunderstandings), and of withdrawal from even the best of company.  For lovers love to be alone, and the high peaks of the soul are reached in solitude.  The poet says,


I heard the call, ‘Come follow,’

That was all.

Earth’s joys grew dim,

My soul went after Him,

I rose and followed ---

That was all.

Will you not follow

If you hear His call?  ------------- Leonard Ravenhill


The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for souls, as we so often hear, but a love for Christ.  ------------- Vance Havner


"How do we worship our God Wholeheartedly? To answer the question we must respond to the command...

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15.

True Love is complete obedience ... half obedience is no obedience. If you love Jesus, you will obey what He commands.

This is true love and true worship." ------Unknown


There are two great trusts we must face in our lives in Christ.  The first is our trust of God.  We come into this relationship with our lives controlled by the flesh and soul.  They think they have run the show pretty well and really don’t want another to come and take over.  It is a Romans 7 journey where the inner man struggles out the inner life of Christ and it is brought out into the soul and flesh to rule and reign.  It is a half won battle by many and thus comes the next great trust we must face.


I don’t know but I think many dream of being used by God in some significant way.  Many Church goers may have dreams of God coming to rescue them and setting them up as a great one of God.  But are they a Friend of Jesus?  What does it mean to be a Friend of Jesus?  Is it just anybody that has entered into this relationship with Him?  Let’s see.


John 15:12 - 17 (NASB) 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  13“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  14“You are My friends if you do what I command you.  15“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.  16“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.  17“This I command you, that you love one another.


Here Jesus talks about friends.  He says that the greatest love is one that is poured out for His friends.  He chooses to call us His friends and not His servants.  But there is one powerful thought here as Jesus says this:  “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”  Here we see Jesus saying that not everybody is His friend, but only those who are obedient to His commands.  Love one another, do not sin, pray, love God, love people etc. You know them don’t you!  Some easy and some very hard, those commands.  The word in the Greek for friend is Phileo.  It means brotherly love like the city of Philadelphia or City of Brotherly Love.  It is a warm and loving relationship that Jesus is speaking about here, but it is exclusively for those who obey Him. 


There are other “friends” in the scriptures.  There is another word in the Greek an it is hetairos.  This word is also translated as friend, but in a different manner.


Matthew 20:10 - 16 (NASB) 10“When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.  11“When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,  12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’  13“But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?  14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  15‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’  16“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”


This “friend” was merely a contract worker with a problem.  He was a hireling and not a true friend and had to be reprimanded by the landowner.  He had no real relationship with the landowner other than a hired hand. 


Matthew 22:11 - 14 (NASB) 11“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes,  12and he said* to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless.  13“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  14“For many are called, but few are chosen.”


Here is another “friend” who appears at the wedding feast not dressed properly.  In ancient times when a king would invite others to the wedding feast he would supply the wedding clothes.  Here the man did not take advantage of the kings kindness but chose to continue to wear his own clothes.  This disobedience displeases the king so much he casts the man out into the outer darkness.  This is a picture of the wedding feast of the lamb and only those invited and wearing the white robes of righteousness may enter.  The man who disobediently chose to wear his old sinful robes was cast out.  There will be many in that role in the last days.  “Many are called, but few are chosen.”  Isn’t that a hard saying?  What is Jesus saying.  You see the last trust is God’s choosing, not ours!  Will we be the obedient ones, always attentive to His commands to be called His true friends?


Matthew 26:48 - 50 (NASB) 48Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.”  49Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  50And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.


Here is the last hetairos in relation to Judas the betrayer.  Jesus said about Judas,


Matthew 26:21 - 25 (NASB) 21As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”  22Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”  23And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.  24“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”  25And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said* to him, “You have said it yourself.”


Hetairos means a member is a clan or former friend who is not with you now.  One who had left and even betrayed his friend.  It not good to be a Hetairos as Jesus said they would be better off not being born, or they would be cast into the outer darkness. 


Brother and Sister, does God trust you with His glory and wonder?  Do you bask in His beautiful presence all the time, does He call you friend and does He tell you His secrets?  If not, make sure what kind of friend you are.