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. ESV John 15:15
There seem to be two kinds of people…those with many friends who love to spend their entire days chatting with people, and those who really don’t enjoy that kind of stuff and prefer to spend their days working. While it may seem the first group are the friendly ones (and to be sure, they probably have the most “friends”) I’ve noticed that many of them don’t meet Jesus’ criteria for friendship.
If you study the verse above, you will notice Jesus’ unique definition of friendship. He doesn’t consider friendship to be merely being together, but rather including each other in your most intimate thoughts. Servants and masters spend a lot of time together, but the master rarely explains his thought process to the servant; he merely gives direction and expects obedience. Jesus doesn’t operate like this though. He chose instead of merely giving us commands to follow, to include us in all that His Father had taught Him. He took time to carefully explain the relationship He had with the Father. He patiently answered the disciples’ questions and continued to point out the great love the Father had for the world. The disciples were His friends because He invited them into the gospel plan, allowing them to see and experience God’s great plan for redemption.
Friendship is more than having coffee and chatting it up. Friendship is bringing someone into your life on the deepest levels. Spiritual friendship is even more important as you share your spiritual journey with someone. Sometimes this is a disciple, and you share your story to encourage them in their own spiritual formation (similar to what Jesus was doing). Sometimes this is a mentor, where you share your spiritual joys and sorrows so they can guide you closer to the Lord Jesus and look out for blind spots in your journey. Regardless, I pray you have people in your life that go beyond “hang-out” friends. People with whom you share all God has taught you. That’s Jesus’ model of friendship, and it’s a model worth following.