My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 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 15:12-15
Can one be buddies with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Can one call the Prince of Peace a pal? Can one be amigos with the Alpha and the Omega? The answer, according to the Risen Savior himself is yes! We can be friends with Jesus.
To enter into a friendship with Christ, we must first trust him. We must trust everything he has said and accomplished on our behalf. Another way to speak of trusting Jesus, is having faith. When we have faith in Christ, we are trusting him to connect us with God. When we have faith in Christ, we are allowing God to guide and lead our lives. The Good News is that Jesus is trustworthy. His love is the only constant in this world and his love is for everybody. But the love will not be given, if there is not trust on our end.
It is said, you are the reflection of your three closest friends. When we have Jesus as our closest friend, our character begins to change. We be become more like Jesus when we obeying his teachings. The greatest of Jesus’ commands is to love others as he loved us. The ultimate example of this love is the willingness to die for another person. Jesus Christ is a trustworthy friend who died for us. His death on the cross has given us the forgiveness of sins and access to God the Father. He gives us this gift freely to his friends. But Jesus will never force a friendship with him.
How can we be friends with someone we cannot see? Also, how can Jesus be friends with so many people? The answer to this conundrum is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us before he went to the cross, that it was good for him to go back to the Father because in doing so we will receive God the Holy Spirit (John 14). It is by receiving the Holy Spirit that we become friends with Jesus Christ. It is through the Holy Spirit work in our lives, in which we understand the plans of God the Father. It is through the Holy Spirit that we become more like His son. So, how does one get the Holy Spirit? By trusting in Jesus Christ and asking God the Father for his presence. It is by making our relationship with Jesus the ultimate priority.
To be friends with Jesus we must live life with God the Holy Spirit. We must not get into the mindset of doing things for Jesus but rather with Jesus. We also must not do things for Jesus in order to get things from him either. This isn’t true friendship, it called using someone. Our motives for our friendship with Christ must be pure. We want the friendship because Jesus is good.
Authentic Christianity is simply a genuine friendship with Jesus Christ. It is trusting in the one who is trustworthy and true. Faith is obeying what Jesus teaches because he knows what is best for us and for the world. The Christian faith is living life with Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and Savior, and most importantly our friend.