Characteristics Of Jesus’ Friends - Part II
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Monday, 06 March 2017
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
1 Corinthians 9:16-18
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
In Jesus’ day, servants and their masters rarely were friends. Not that they were necessarily enemies; they simply did not cultivate the kind of relationship friends would have. A slave was told only what he should do, never why he should do it. He never knew his master’s plans, goals, or feelings.
It was different between Jesus and His disciples (v.15). Following Christ is never a blind obedience. He shares with His friends everything He has received from the Father. He always makes His friends a part of His plans and purposes. It is the truest kind of friendship. So the spiritual knowledge was passed from the Father through Jesus to the apostles; and the apostles passed it to us through the Scriptures (cf. Rom 16:25-26). Spiritual understanding sets Christians apart.
Jesus tells the disciples in verse 16 that “they did not choose Him, but that He has chosen them and appointed them, that they should go and bear fruit, and that their fruit should remain.” In verse 19 He adds, “I chose you out of the world.” The Greek word for “chose” carries the idea of appointment. We have not been chosen to stand and watch the world go by. We are commanded to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in” (cf. Luke 14:23). Jesus’ last commission to His followers was, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16: 15). Since the Father has chosen them to produce lasting fruit, He would answer their requests in order to accomplish that mission.
We are called and ordained by the Lord that He may have His way with us. God works His perfect will through us.
Lord, make me a knowledgeable and fruit-bearing Christian.