Friend

“…And Abraham was called the friend of God.”         James 2:23

When the bible uses the word “friend” it dos so in the real sense of the term.  A friend is one, says Proverbs, who “is closer than a brother.”  The bible is replete with examples of such friendship.  David described his relationship to Jonathan as being dearer than that of husband to wife.  Jesus’ friendship with John, “the beloved disciple,” is another familiar example.

Happily, Jesus declares that all true Christians are His friends.  “I do not call you servants,” says Jesus — thought we are essentially that, and unworthy ones besides — “but I have called you friends.”

When you stop to think about it for just a moment, what a staggering honor this really is, despite its familiarity. Just imagine being able to say in all honesty, “The president is an old school friend of mine.”  Or again, “The prime minister and I were boyhood friends.”  But what is this honor, really, compared to saying in truth, “The Son of God is a friend of mine!”

But friendship is a two-way proposition.  We all know name-droppers who like to refer to dignitaries intimately as though they were on a first-name basis, while actually the person in question scarcely knows them, if at all.  Well, Jesus will have that to say about many people in the Judgment Day who injuredly inquire, “Why, you surely know me!”

“You are my friends if….,” says Jesus.  A friend is one who likes to talk with another one often; who does things to please his companion, and speaks proudly to others about their friendship.  Does that describe your relationship to Christ?

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