“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you,” John 15:12-16, KJV.
What a friend we have in Jesus … Do you remember that song? To know and understand that God is our friend is an awesome thing. Jesus taught in this passage that there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for another. This clearly foreshadows what He was going to do. He knew this was the ultimate sacrifice—to die for another.
For Christ to die on that cross was the greatest act of love for us. For God, the Father, to give His only begotten Son was the greatest display of love. Jesus knew His mission, He was well aware of His purpose helping us to understand the character of the Father. “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him,” John 14:7, KJV.
But there is a criterion to being God’s friend. Notice, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” It is important not to forget that being God’s friend is to obey His commands. There are a set of rules/commandments put in place to help us on this journey of life. God understands and knows that we aren’t perfect (after all, He made us), but what He expects is obedience. In our imperfection, He is perfect. In accepting Him as Lord and savior, the Father sees us through Jesus Christ—the faultless One. In accepting Christ, God is faithful to forgive us of our sins. That’s where confession comes in.
In being Jesus’ friend, He makes known to us all that He’s heard of the Father. No good thing will God withhold. Many are called, but few are chosen. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”