Friendships! What are they?
We all have friends. We had some friends before and some of those friends are not friends anymore. Some friendships have been broken.
What qualifies someone to be a friend? A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of his friends and what they look like and how they will act like.
Jesus mentions four things concerning His friends:
I. Condition of Friendship
“You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you” (v. 14).
Is our friendship with God conditional? The answer is yes. But is our relationship with God conditional? The answer is no.
God loves us regardless of how we behave. However, we are not God’s friends if we do not keep his commandments. Would you make someone your friend if they don’t keep your trust or love or confidence?
There are some people in the Bible who are called the friends of God. Abraham is one of them. Enoch. Moses is another. Noah was a friend of God.
II. Privilege of Friendship
“… For all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (v. 15).
If you have a friend whom you consider very close, does she or he have any kind of special privilege others don’t have?
There is no secret between friends. They share things with each other, good and bad. The quality of friendship is known by the quality of information shared with them, friends.
One of the privileges of friendship with God is everlasting faithfulness.
But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend.
Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God”
God speaks to us face to face Exodus 33: 11
III. The Purpose of Friendship
“… That ye should go and bring forth fruit” (v. 16).
When someone is your friend, you expect that person to be trustworthy, keep their words, and do things that establishes the bond.
You have heard the proverb that says, “tell me who your friend is, and I will tell you who you are.”
What is the fruit of friendship?
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.”
“No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”
I build relationships with people who are reliable. I like people who can do what they say they will. If you ask me the greatest gift of a friend is reliability. I will stand for anyone who is reliable even when I may not like or approve of what they have done. I will stand by them because they kept their word.
IV. The Obligation of Friendship
Would you maintain a friendship with people if they don’t keep their end of the bargain once they promise to do them? Will you be a friend of someone who never keeps his word? Will you trust someone who doesn’t follow what they agreed to do?
I have heard people say that someone is their friend regardless of what they do? Really? Or are you being charitable towards someone who is incapable of keeping their end of the bargain?
“These things I command you, that you love one another” (v. 17).
This is what the obligation is for us if you are a friend of God or want to be God’s friend.
Love One Another.
I do not believe there is another way to put what our relationship with God should and would look like if we are truly the followers of Christ.
The obligation of friendship is love.
In the end friendship with god calls us to be really a friend of God that requires us to maintain it. We are not talking about being a child of God here. We are children of God every day and all day.
But to be the friend of God, there are some conditions.
In the story here, Jesus tells the disciples this very carefully. “you are my friends if you do….”
“You are my friends” is first offered, and then Jesus says, what that would look like if you are want to maintain it. Don’t just say about that you are friend of God if you don’t love one another without conditions.