‘No longer do I call you servants, for a servant 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.’ (John 15:15)
There are many heartwarming sayings of Christ, but this one is the cat’s whiskers! Not that we have anything to be proud of, because we have done nothing to become His friends. It’s all to do with His Father who chooses us! (Ephesians 1:5) Not only that, He chooses us to be adopted ‘sons’ in or through His Son. (v 5) What can be more wonderful than that? The very God of heaven chooses us to be brothers of Jesus.
He choses us to be ‘holy’ and ‘blameless’, redeemed through the blood of Jesus, with the ultimate purpose of being gathered together in one in Him and things in heaven. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
The friendship that Christ offers us is far more than platonic. It is an active, living relationship depending on being united in Him. (John 15:5-7) Christ explains He is ‘the vine’ and the branches are those who abide in Him and keep His words. (v 7a) In so doing they glorify the Father who answers their prayers, (v 7b, 8) and they bear much fruit (vs 5, 8) as His disciples. (v 8) To bear fruit his disciples are to ‘go’. (v 16)
Now we know that disciples obey Jesus by going into the world to make more disciples (Matthew 28:19) who are the fruit of the vine. Jesus is the vine integrated with His branches. (John 15:5)
Fruit-bearing comes through abiding in Jesus and abiding in His word. (vs 7, 8) Those who abide in Him have a guarantee He will answer their prayers. (v 7) In fruit-bearing we become disciples of Jesus. (v 8)
In this friendship with Christ He commands us to love one another, (vs 12, 17) even to the extent of laying down our life for our friends. We are Christ’s friends if we do what He commands us. (v 14) He doesn’t give us this command as a hypothetical possibility, because He Himself died (Matthew 27:35, 50) for us, in order to become our friend. (John 15:14)
This special friend/brother relationship is with Christ and those who are His friends. It is not friendship with the world, because the world hates Jesus and His friends. (John 15:18) The world hates Him and it hates His friends. (v 18) That is why He chooses people, then transforms them (2 Corinthians 5:17) and takes them out of the world. Jesus said, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20)