Reflection: Friend: When Jesus is described as “friend”, what does this mean for us as His followers? A helpful way of seeking answers to these questions is to look at Jesus’ disciples, who spent the most time with Him. From the time Jesus met Simon Peter, it appears that they rarely left each other’s side. Jesus even stayed in Simon Peter’s home in Capernaum. They were close friends who had their ups and downs. Simon Peter said “no” to Jesus, and he disappointed Jesus. In fact, Jesus saved His highest praise and sternest rebukes for Simon Peter. When Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say I am” in Matthew 16:13-23, Peter was being shaped by Jesus. In Matthew 17:7 Jesus reminds His friends to not be afraid – He can be trusted and depended upon. Jesus’ friends knew that they were loved, accepted forgiven and free (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 2:18). What a wonderful thing to be called a Friend of Jesus. And we are friends with one another through our unity in Christ! Rejoice in this today, friends: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:13-15)
Prayer: Lord God, what a privilege to be called your children and friends of Jesus. The comfort that this brings is encouraging and wonderful. We thank you for the model Jesus set to us, that we might be good friends to one another as we seek to encourage one another along in our walk with you. Amen.