Friend of God
John 15:14-15 “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
- I wonder why it’s such a compliment to tell a woman she looks like a breath of spring, but not to tell her she looks like the end of hard winter. Isn’t it the same thing?
- I wonder why it pleases her to say time stands still when you look into her face, but not to say her face would stop a clock. Why?
- I wonder why people who punish a child for lying will tell the same child, “Just say I’m not home.”
- I wonder why, when the preacher says, “In closing…” he doesn’t.
- I wonder why a speaker who “needs no introduction” gets one anyway. It seems curious.
Many things in this world could cause us to wonder. But one of the most striking is that God should want to call us His friends. “Friends.” That Jesus would call us friends somehow defies imagination.
The Cross is the highest symbol of friendship. John 15:13 tells us “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” The symbol of the cross is so important to our relationships that God even used it for marriage: “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph 5:25). There is no greater love we can show to another than to sacrifice for them.
In 1969, Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black celebrated his 83rd birthday. His colleague, frequent opponent and good friend, John Marshall Harlan, sent him a birthday letter. This is a simple gesture for most men, but Justice Harlan was almost totally blind. To sign an opinion, he found it necessary to turn on a massive set of lights that had been installed above his desk and use a large, single lens magnifying glass. With the glass on his eye actually touching the paper, …he would struggle painfully to complete his signature.
That was the only writing he ever did. The birthday note to Justice Black covered a page. When he had read it, Black folded it and put it carefully in his pocket, then turned his back on his clerk for a few minutes. When he turned around, his eyes were full of tears. “He wrote it himself,” he said.
No act we can do can impress others as much as sacrifice, and no other kind of act will bring others to the Cross of Christ – who sacrificed for us.
Homework: This week sit down and write down the friends who come to your mind and answer the question, “Are you the kind of friend that points your friends to the Cross of Christ?” How can you be a better friend?