Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
In John 15:15 Jesus said something I don't think I have ever heard emphasized.
"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends."
The Great Commission actually begins with Jesus saying, “All Authority in Heaven and Earth has been given to me.” In a sense He is saying, “Listen, I'm in charge." We speak of the laws of nature reflecting God's Authority. And we understand that these laws are absolute. For instance, we know that the law of gravity cannot be broken. If you were to jump from the top of the Empire State Building, you would not break the law of gravity. You would prove it. And about the authority of Christ, Luke 20:17-18 refers to the words of the psalmist.
"He is the stone that the builders rejected. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
But if we think of authority like that of a dictator or a Drill Sergeant, we do not fully understand His authority. Look with me at the passage I referred to about friendship, John 15:12-15.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone 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.”
Jesus is saying that we serve Him and one another as friends. In this passage Jesus links two of the words for love in the original language of the New Testament, agape and philos. Of course He had to accurately define agape love for us. He told us to love one another as He loves us. That stretches love to the ultimate sacrifice of the cross.
And He uses Philos, calling us His friends. Here Jesus stretches friendship beyond anything we can imagine. We are His friends because Jesus gave His life for us. We show that we are His friends when we do what He commands. In His grace, Jesus shows us the authority of divine friendship.
First, we see The Authority of Devotion.
We are to obey Him because we love Him. And we love Him and one another because He loves us. When you come to realize the magnitude of the love of God who gave His only Son for you, your heart will overflow with love that will do anything for Him.
And in this passage Jesus brings out The Authority of Purpose.
He said He no longer calls us servants, because a servant does not know what His master is doing. We know what Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 5:19, that in Christ God is reconciling the world to Himself. In verse 18 he says God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Most of you are familiar with Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life. In that study Rick points out that our lives need to be driven by the purposes of God.
Finally, in speaking of His friendship, Jesus points out The Authority of Understanding.
He says, "All that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." Our serving God depends upon our understanding the things of God. And the more we grow in our understanding, the more faithful we will be to Him.