Jesus says farewell – Part Twelve (John 15)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. This week is all about friendship with Jesus. We’ve seen how friendship with Jesus was friendship of the highest order, in that he was prepared to lay down his life for us, his friends. The response to this act of friendship ought to be loyal obedience, yet this is done not as a “slave” but as an intimate friend who’s been let into the inner circle. Today, we see how friendship with Jesus means that we have a task to do.

Friendship with Jesus means we have a job to do

John 15:16a “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

In a first-century friendship between unequals, friends were often given tasks to do on behalf of their benefactors; to act as their agents. In Greek thought, friends were referred to as a ‘second self.’ Letters that survive from the period show that it was common for writers to urge that a friend be welcomed and treated ‘as if he were me.’

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Jesus says farewell – Part Eleven (John 15)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. This week is all about friendship with Jesus. We’ve seen how friendship with Jesus was friendship of the highest order, in that he was prepared to lay down his life for us, his friends. The response to this act of friendship ought to be loyal obedience. Today, we see how friendship with Jesus involves intimacy. 

Friendship with Jesus involves intimacy

We saw yesterday that a friend of Jesus is obedient. But this doesn’t mean mindlessly obeying orders. There is an intimacy on offer whereby we are let into Jesus ‘inner circle’:

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Jesus says farewell – Part Ten (John 15)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. This week is all about friendship with Jesus. Yesterday, we saw how friendship with Jesus was friendship of the highest order, in that he was prepared to lay down his life for us, his friends. Today, we look at the obligations of those who are Jesus’ friends. 

A friend of Jesus is obedient

Our friendship started with Jesus’ laying down his life for us. It was his initiative; verse 16 says that he chose us to be his friends. Now we are in his debt. We owe him a debt we can’t repay, and so we become his grateful, loyal ‘friends’. And that friendship – like all friendships – has some obligations:

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Jesus says farewell – Part Nine (John 15)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. Having spoken of himself as God’s authorised agent (14:1-14) and introduced the Holy Spirit who would continue his role (14:15-26), Jesus now talks about what it means to be his “friend” – which is our focus this week. 

 

Friends with Jesus

We were made for friendship. God obviously thought it was a good idea, telling us back in Genesis ‘it is not good for the man to be alone.’ As we’ll see later, those in ancient societies spent much time writing about friendship in lofty terms: the Greek philosopher Aristotle described friendship as ‘a single soul dwelling in two bodies… Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.’ Two thousand years later, ‘mateship’ is still central not just to our identity as Australians, but, more fundamentally, to our identity as humans.

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