John 15: 15 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.
Have you seriously wondered what this verse means?
Is Jesus just being sentimental?
How could Jesus treat the disciples like Jesus?
Conceptually, it would rather be indifferent for him to call his disciples slaves, don’t you think?
Many of us at times, fail to appreciate the Jesus of our Bibles. Jesus was referring to something which is of good importance here. In the Old Testament God had one friend, Jesus here multiplied that number of friends God has. In the Old Testament, God had only Abraham as his friend.
¨ Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,
¨ And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
Have ever wondered why did God choose Abraham to be his only friend? Many believers are thought because he did everything God commanded him.
¨ Genesis 26:5 …..’Because that Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws
Is that really the case?
How did God actually considered Abraham to have done all that.
Lets’ look at the context of this verse:
¨ “3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
¨ 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
¨ 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
It related to this single incident that significant changed his life, when he saw the stars!
Here is the incident:
¨ 15 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
¨ 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, ….
¨ 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
¨ 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
¨ 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Look at verse 6, Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness. That was how Abraham obeyed everything. Not by his conduct but by his faith.
Dear friends, I want to you to realize our Lord’s escalation of the disciples from servants to friends has very much to do with this. He was moving them from the old covenant and placing them to the new covenant.
You see our Lord was moving them from a covenant of works to a covenant of grace and faith. Their elevation also coincided with the introduction of the new law of Christ. Many people do not appreciate that there is a difference between the 10 commandments (which the law of Moses) and the law of Christ.
John says this:
¨ 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
What in the world is the commandment that was from the beginning? Surely it must be the 10 commandments. Take a look.
¨ 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
What happen to the big 10?
Dear friends, John is saying something significant here. John is saying that the ten commandments is already obsolete. The true beginning for a Christian is when he in Christ. That moment immediately he becomes a new creation. Thus he begins a new life when he meets Jesus. As a new creation he is bound to obey the new law.
¨ 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Notice 3 very powerful things here.
a) The Father’s commands are not the 10 commandments but that Jesus remains in his father’s love.
b) The new commandments are to love one another as Jesus loves us.
c) The love of the Father is only experienced by those who are his friends. What I mean here is not that the Father only loves his friends but if they don’t believe him and chose to be under the law, how can they experience his love.
John 15: 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
2 years ago, i was posed with a question. A pastor criticized the grace message by saying the love of the Father had for Jesus is conditional, because Jesus obeyed the father and his commandments.
Today I can tell you what the Father’s commandments are. It is to remain in the Father’s love.
You see he ask us to love one another the same way he loves us. That is the way he is, he loves us is the same way his father loves him.
As such to say the Father’s love for Jesus is conditional is utter nonsense. The reason Jesus to lay down his life is he knew he is loved by His Father. He says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. He now loves us the same way His Father would love him. That is Jesus remaining in his Father’s love. That is the commandment the Father gave to him!
Jesus was transforming the disciples from slaves to sons for the Father. This is what Paul says:
¨ 23 Now before faith came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners until the coming faith would be revealed.
¨ 24 Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith.25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
¨ 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
¨ 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
Notice you become a son the minute the law ceases to have effect on you. In fact you can outgrow it- through faith. When that happens we become full grown sons. Then we become Abraham’s true descendants.
That was how Abraham became God’s friends. That is how the disciples became Jesus’s friends. By faith!
Dear friends, I really rejoice in this, it means God moved me from a covenant of doing into a covenant of rest. He moved me from a ministry that brings death to one of life. He called himself the God of Abraham and the God of the living. This means Abraham is still alive.
He moved me from having to work for righteousness to giving me righteousness freely. He shifted me from Egypt (where Mount Sinai) is to Zion where all the angels are now gathered. From bondage to sonship. From no inheritance to full inheritance. From Hagar to Sarah. From fruitlessness to fruitfulness. From the back of God, to the face of God.
He now calls me his friend, he restored the covenant of Abraham to me. He became the curse of the law and I now become the blessing of Abraham. Jesus became sin and I became the righteousness of God.
And because of that…
¨ Genesis 24:1 … the LORD had blessed him in every way
and bless me in everyway too.