“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do what I command you. 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.”
John uses the word friend in this discourse. I think Jesus wants his disciples to know how much He loves them, how much they mean to Him. Martin Luther said, ”God’s friendship is more precious than the whole world.” Jesus picks up that concept of friend and uses it three times.
We often sing the hymn, “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. That is a wonderful thought when we are going to prayer. We are going to a friend, a friend delights in a friend. But should we or dare we even call Him friend? Let’s be clear that He is not a peer friend. Look what He says in verse 14 when Jesus calls us His friends, He still requires us to obey Him, “You are My friends if You do what I command you.” Jesus is not your ordinary kind of friend. It is important for us to remember that Jesus is our king when we go to prayer. The concept of king dominates your Bibles, Old Testament and New Testament. Most of the Old Testament relates to kings. Prior to the New Testament, those people who were under that Old Testament covenant were anticipating the coming of the King, the Messiah king, and He came in the fullness of time. That king is reigning and ruling right now.
Charles Hodge, who taught at Princeton Seminary when it was at its top said this about our King Jesus, “All divine names and titles are applied to Him. He is called God, the mighty God, the great God, God over all, Jehovah, Lord, the Lord of lords, the King of kings. All divine attributes, not just titles and names, but all divine attributes are ascribed to Him. He is declared to be omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, immutable, the same yesterday, today and forever. All things were created by Him and for Him, and by Him all things consist. He is also the object of all intelligent creatures, angels and men and seraphim. He is also the object of all true religious devotion, reverence, love and faith. All men, all angels, are responsible to Him and will be judged by Him. He calls all men to Himself. He promises to forgive all our sins. He promises to bless us with all spiritual blessings. God is not more and cannot promise more or do more than Christ.”
Christ is our friend, there is no better friend. He loves us better than any other friend; He listens to us better than any other friend; He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. When we go to prayer it is good to remember He is our friend, but He is also our king. He is the most dearest and precious friend that we have; He is the greatest king in the universe.