With painful honesty the Gospel of John records that Jesus’ first and closest disciples were on their best days easily distracted from their love of God, care for one another, and concern for their neighbors. Some, like Judas, was revealed to be wayward, rebellious, and mean. Yet turning to all of these would-be followers, Jesus explained His and the Father’s deep, sacrificial love for them in these words: “You did not choose me, but I chose you” and “I have called you friends” (15:15-16). Today we rarely use “friendship” to describe what John calls “eternal life,” the life of salvation that is made possible through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Yet in the Fourth Gospel, we see that friendship with God and one another is a high priority and ultimate relationship. To be the Friend of God, what a high, holy honor. Love as the foundation and friendship the fruit. Love revealed, declared as friendship.

Jesus defined His love for His disciples as the Gift of one’s life for one’s friends! Friendship might even be manifested in sacrificing of one’s life for another and the common good. Friendship was key in the ancient world.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FRIEND?- “…Friends”- such a strong word. Jesus says “I have called you friends.”- { John 15:15}.

The Greek  word for “friend,”- ” Philos,” comes from a common verb for love, phileō, “in the New Testament a ‘friend’ is immediately understood as “one who loves.” What a wonderful definition of a Friend, one who loves. It is a love of affection. It is used in John of the love the Father has for His own children because they love His Son. This love of affection  is what we might say is to “Like” someone! Tender affection! -{Read John 16:27}

The word “Phileo,” speaks of “esteem, high regard, tender affections” for another. But it is often more than how we interpret it, as people “fall in and out of love,” as though somehow its like climbing a tree and falling out of it!! It is possible to feel tender affections for another and never be moved for their ultimate well being. Look a little closer at this word, “friends” and see Jesus help us out what it meant to Him and how we are to mimic it in our attitudes, decision making and application. It is a term of  TENDER affection, and culminating in sacrificial action …Consider…



 “…I have called you friends.”

The Creator and Redeemer, Sovereign King of the universe, its galaxies, planets, all of creation calls you His...”…friends…” 


 Love is involved, the type of love that is sacrificial, deliberate in the preferring of the other for their benefit. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”-{John 15:13}. Jesus loved us in that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”-{Rom 5}. “The Son of God Loved me and Gave Himself Up for me…”-{Gal 2:20}. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”– {1 John 3:16}. “For God SO LOVED HE GAVE His only begotten Son…”-{John 3:16}. Jesus called His disciples and His own “friends” and He Proved HIS FRIENDSHIP by laying down His life for their benefit…


We have no problem being loyal to ourselves but to Love another is to be Loyal to them. “A Friend loves AT ALL TIMES…” {Prov 17:17}. It is easy to find friends when a person is popular, successful, “loyalty” seems to “flourish,” but to “love at all times,” the good times, the bad times, the difficult, trying, times is quite something else. Often when perceived “success, popularity, fame and fortune,” leaves another so often do the “friends” walk away. But look at Jesus. His friendship, was not determined by the actions of His disciples who in His time of need, walked away, denied Him, fled and locked themselves in a room, and wanted nothing to do with Him when the cross dawned upon Him, yet it was He who called them His “friends,” He set His love upon them. He showed His love for them.

He showed His love to them as HE sought them out and the first thing He said to them when He appeared in the room where they had sought “comfort, protection” was…”Peace!” All that was for their well being He sought for them. Jesus demonstrated His friendship, “a friend loves at ALL TIMES.” Even times of betrayal He sought them out, restored them and befriended them and gave them a demonstration of what a friend behaves like.


“A Friend loves at all times and a brother is Born for adversity.”-{Prov 17:17}. It is though this “friend” has been born for this particular moment to befriend the one who is in trouble, adversity. He or she steps forward, while others may stand off and stare, comment from a far or walk on the other side of the road like the two well verses men who saw the man in the ditch who CHOSE to walk on the other side of the road, not wanting to get involved, though their attitude was displayed in their actions, they did involve themselves. They did walk on by, without any care, compassion for the wounded man! But “a friend” walks towards the injured, hurting one who is in adversity. He or she identifies, and involves themselves in meeting the needs of the person.” We know Love by this He laid down His life for His brother, WE OUGHT TO LAY DOWN OUR  lives for the brethren”-{1 John 3:16} He goes on to show Love is as simple as meeting a need.-{1 John 3:17-18}. We are told while we “have OPPORTUNITY, to do good to all men especially those of the household of faith”-{Gal 6:9}. “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.”-{Gal 6:2}. Love is a greater Burden bearer. Choosing to stop, identify and compassionately get under the need of others and lift the load as you have opportunity. Love doesn’t walk by. Love stoops to serve, and a friend does so in time of adversity for another.

OBEDIENT FAITH; Abraham was called “the friend of God,” what differentiated him from the multitudes that God should call him such ?-{James 2:23}. His OBEDIENT FAITH set him apart. He chose to obey God. Was his obedience perfect? Was his faith flawless? No! To read his life from Genesis 12- 22 you will see God making a man of faith, and his sin and failures but also we see by the time he gets to the place of being willing to offer his son Isaac, convinced he and the lad would return, God was worthy of worship and he was willing to obey out of love for Him. This is key. Obedience not out of drudgery but love, realizing, appreciating His Love for him in turn motivated his attitude and act of worship. It is still the same today for you, obedient faith to Him says, He is worthy! It’s how a friend of God behaves. Please don’t misunderstand it is not “perfection” but a new ever learning, relearning direction of your attitude, action and pattern for living.

Jesus says, “I have called you friends…” His Love, His Loyalty, His compassion, His Obedient faith have expressed it and do express. He chose to obey His Father, “…not My will, Your will be done, Father glorify Your Name…and for the joy set before Him He endured the cross…”

“What a Friend we have in Jesus….” and to think He who sits upon the Throne, who upholds all things by the power of HIS Word calls you His…friend! Though once mocked for it, but what a truth, the LORD JESUS, was known as a” FRIEND OF SINNERS.” Nothing can sever you from the love of God in Christ.

His calling and demonstrating His friendship, is sealed with His blood for eternity! Nothing and no one can sever His friendship towards you.

Such love does not result in self importance and occupying “the spotlight” but in humility, gratitude and placing “the spotlight” on Him and by His grace seeking to be a friend to others!


“Growing in….brotherly LOVE {affection/}KINDNESS ” -{2 Peter 1:7} “Love,” “philadelphia” literally love of the brethren. Is the same word as “friendit speaks of esteeming, a high regard, tender affection and one of the evidences of growing as a believer is growing in YOU being a friend to others, friendship that shows in fervent caring, affection, for others.-{1 John 4:20-21} Growing in brotherly kindness, is part of Christian character that will aid us to be useful. -{1 Peter:1-8-9}.

SEEK TO BE A FRIEND! I once met a missionary who said he used to seek out friends for himself and then concluded he should seek TO BE A FRIEND to others…From self seeking to Other serving is the difference in a “friend!” While we often tend to look on people to be “our” friend, love seeks to BE a friend to others.

It is not how many friends we have, but how many people we are a friend to. Love prefers others – {Phil 2:3-5}



  1. -Thank Him that He has chosen you to be His friend
  2. – Seek to be a friend to someone today! It is not dependent upon their response, but yours that reveals your reflection of Christ and what it means to be a Friend to others, “For Jesus sake.”-{2 Cor 4:5}.