Friendship with the Master

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 heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15

In the Roman world, a “friend” was often a political ally who owed one a favor, or a more powerful patron on whom one could depend. But the traditional Greek concept of friendship remained influential even during the apostle Paul’s day. Paul had urged the financially well–off Christians of Corinth to treat Christians in Jerusalem as friends by sharing all things in common. Friends treated one another as “equals” (2 Corinthians 8:13,14).

Jesus said to His disciples: “I have called you friends.” While He was not implying that as His friends they were His equals, He was offering to share with them what belonged to Him. John’s Gospel describes this assurance specifically as the promise of the Spirit sharing Jesus’ words with the disciples, so they would know Jesus’ heart (see John 16:13–15).

The intimacy pictured between Jesus and the disciples fits the ancient ideal of friendship, which stressed both loyalty and the sharing of secrets. Among the Greeks, the highest expression of a friend’s loyalty was to die for a friend, and Jesus summoned His disciples to lay down their lives for Him and for one another, as He was about to do for them (John 15:12–14). But servants often proved no less loyal then friends, so Jesus spoke of an intimacy greater than that between the average master and servant. Greek literature often stressed how friends share secrets with one another in confidence, and Jesus had shared with the disciples all the words He had heard from His Father (John 15:15).

Some Jewish writers in Jesus’ day stressed that being God’s friend, as exemplified by Abraham and Moses, was even greater than being God’s servant. Jesus thus bestowed on His disciples such an honor of intimacy with Himself.

From a background note in the Chronological Study Bible.

Do you talk to Jesus as your friend, Lord, and Savior?
Read the online conversation / post a comment below!

Bible Study

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

    What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible?

    Many people have found the Thompson Chain-Reference... Read more
  • Jesus: the Eternal Word

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word... Read more

Comfort

More
  • Contentment

    As humans, we are not often satisfied. That is because... Read more
  • Encounter God Through Journaling His Word

    Journaling your thoughts, insights, and prayers as you... Read more
  • Be Thankful for Jesus, the God-Man

    As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, only one... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • What is Scripture Engagement?

    Scripture Engagement is more than just a regular Bible... Read more
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more

Prayer

More
  • A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

    Many people who read the Bible don't understand what... Read more
  • teach your children to pray for others

    Teach Your Children to Pray for Others

    This study from the NIV Adventure Bible can help you... Read more
  • Scripture Engagement Practice Picture It

    Scripture Engagement Practice: Picture It

    Picture it, one of the practices found in the abide... Read more

SpeakLight

More
  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • Jesus: the Eternal Word

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word... Read more
  • who really was jesus

    Who really was Jesus?

    The author of the book of Hebrews explained, using... Read more

Topical Reading Plans

More
  • What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

    What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible?

    Many people have found the Thompson Chain-Reference... Read more
  • who really was jesus

    Who really was Jesus?

    The author of the book of Hebrews explained, using... Read more
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more