Theme of the Week: Friendship
Bible Verse: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:12, 17
Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17
Yes, we are in the same passage as yesterday. We can’t really exhaust the meaning of that passage in a month, let alone a day. Plus, this passage actually gives us a bridge from friendship with Jesus into friendship with others. Friendship with Jesus sets the stage for us to have the deepest and most meaningful kind of friendship with others. Actually, I’m going to make the case that we can’t be friends with Jesus without having significant friendships with others.
Give me a few moments to make my case. Jesus said that to be friends with Him, we had to love one another. True, Jesus was speaking to His first disciples, telling them to love each other, but this is one of those passages that is both for and to us. As Jesus’s followers now, His words to those first disciples can be directly applied to us as well.
So, for us to be friends with Jesus we must follow the command of loving each other. Maybe this doesn’t mean we have the same kind of soul-bearing, burden-sharing, thick and thin relationship with everyone. But is does mean that we look out for the good of others. We support them, challenge them when needed. Pray for them. Be kind and generous to them. That sure sounds like a friendship, and a good one at that.
Following the command is the precursor to friendship with Jesus. The command is to love one another. (If you want to know what love looks like go read 1 Corinthians 13—we’re going to hit this passage the rest of the week but reading it now will be helpful. Yes, that’s the passage that is often read at weddings, but a wedding would have been the last thing on Paul’s mind when he wrote it. He meant for the Corinthian church to treat each other that way.) We must have loving relationships with others for Jesus to call us friends.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the example of what it means to love each other. Help me to see others as you see them and to love them the way you have loved me—to put them first and to see myself as a vehicle through which you can love them.
Reflection: Who is your closest friend? Do they know it? Spend some time today thanking them for their friendship and tell them what they mean to you.
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