Characteristics Of Jesus’ Friends - Part I
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 March 2017
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
1 Thessalonians 4:9
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
he disciples would have been happy to be known as Jesus’ slaves. To be a servant of God was by no means a shameful thing. But to be known as the friend of God was an honour. All of them had longed for intimacy with Him. They had even contended among themselves about which one would sit closest to Him in the kingdom. Now He reassured all of them that He desired intimacy with them as well, and He listed a number of the characteristics that are essential to a loving relationship with Him.
Everyone who claims to be a friend of Jesus must possess a deep, sincere, and abiding love for other Christians. A true follower of Christ lives in His love and it overflows his life. He will manifest his Master’s love. 1 John 2:9-10: “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” Jesus wants us to love the way He loves. Of course, our love cannot be on the same scale as His. But we can love the way He loves. We can be sacrificial and selfless in loving others.
Obedience of a believer is an evidence of his friendship with Christ. In fact, obedience is a condition for intimacy. In verse 10, Jesus says, “If ye keep My commandments, ye will abide in My love.” Then in verse 14 He adds, “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command ye” That is not to say that friendship with Him is earned but rather that obedience is an identifying mark of the friends of Jesus. John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Again, intimacy depends on willing obedience.
Love and obey, for that’s the way for Christians.
Lord, may Your love and obedience overflow my life.