Week of November 12 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: John 15:14-15

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Reflect: What is the condition of Jesus declaration that his followers are his friends?

Consider: The immediate implication of this verse is that if the disciples obey Jesus’ commands, they prove that they are his friends, and so he will give his life for them. In this respect, the verse is very close in meaning to verse 10. Throughout the Gospel, no distinction is made between remaining in Christ’s love and being his friend. John uses two verbs for love (agapaō and phileō) and he uses them synonymously. It is significant that the noun friends (Greek philos) is made from the stem of one of these verbs. According to John’s Gospel, Jesus’ “friends” are those “whom he loves.” Note that Lazarus is the “friend” of Jesus (11:11), and he is so because Jesus “loves” him (11:3, 5). In the same way that Christ remains in the Father’s love by obeying his commands, so the disciples must obey Jesus’ commands in order to remain in his love.[1]

Respond: What do these verses teach us about the kind of relationship Jesus intends for us to have with Him? What benefits are produced in our lives when we love as Christ commands us?


[1]  Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the Gospel of John, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 487.