I have Called You My Friends

What distinguished His twelve disciples from the others to be YAHSHUA’S friends? Because He had made known to them everything that He had heard from His Father (John 15:15b).  A friend trusts his true friend with information known only to him. Secrets between friends are signs of confidential trust, a door only opened to them. The confidentiality between them strengthens the cord that unites them. Although YAHSHUA knew whom His betrayer was, He gave Judas an opportunity to repent. A friendship that dies in betrayal will never return to be the same. For Judas, it took a road of no return, for betrayal is a serious action taken against anyone, much more to a close friend, and that of the Son of God. There was no forgiveness for Judas. The damage that a betrayal causes a person is devasting and heart breaking. For YAHSHUA, it cost His life on a cross, which belonged to Judas himself, His betrayer. YAHSHUA pronounced a woe to Judas, declaring His knowledge of his intent saying, The Son of Man will go as it is written about Him, but woe is that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would been better for him if he had not been born (Matt. 26:24). The price Judas paid for his betrayal of YAHSHYA was his eternal condemnation.

To have been chosen to be YAHSHUA’S close friend, was and is the highest honor one can receive here on earth. The door remains opened even today for all those of us who believe in Him. He said, You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. This is His commandment: that we love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12,14). This is a two- way road. It will take both sides to meet. In our obedience, He will reward us with His friendship, in a relationship that will lead us to an eternal communion with Him. God treasures our friendship with Him. He is aware of all who have taken the step to follow Him in obedience. Of Abraham He said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? For I have known him, so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him (Gen.18:17-19). Abraham proved God’s words when he went as far as to sacrifice his son at God’s request in faith that compelled him to obedience. That’s a true friend of God.

I am sure that we of today’s mind set will not go to the extent that Abraham went to prove our friendship with our Lord God. There will be always an excuse representing our weak faith in our shallow reasoning of Whom God is, because we do not trust Him with the faith that Abraham had. Man’s friendship is never to be compared with that of our Lord’s YAHSHUA in its perfection, purity and in His perfect and unconditional love for mankind. Love that took His breath away, while giving us His life. In His unmerited favor called grace, He opened the way for us to be His friends in relationship with Him. In this two-way road, He has fulfilled all that is necessary to be a friend, but we have not yet given Him our complete self in submission to His command of “Love one another as I have loved you.”  For that reason, we remain outside of the sphere of His friendship, not been revealed His secrets and plans for us. The Bible says, Surely, the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Walking in close relationship with God, close enough to hear His heartbeat, connects us to the highest form of friendship we could have with Him. Hearing His voice is for sure part of it. YAHSHUA said, My sheep hear my voice; He (I) walks on before them, and the sheep follow Him (Me) because they know His (My) voice (John 10:4). I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me (vs.14). He calls His sheep by name (vs.3). There is no friendship where there is no relationship. If we desire to know our Lord, we must walk close to Him to be His friend. His command is “love one another as I loved you.” This is the road where there is no reasoning, but only submission.

We all need a true friend to whisper our secrets, sorrows, and disappointments to. Solomon said, A friend loves at all times, and a brother or relative is born for time of adversity (Prov. 17:17). The love of a true friend overlooks weaknesses, imperfection. It conforms to what we are, accepting where we are. This love does not demand changes, but meet half-way to encourage the friendship. If we know how to be a true friend to someone, we will know definitely how to be a friend to our Lord YAHSHUA. In persecution, and even in death, we will never give Him up for our earthly life. For what is the weight of our weak love compared to His love for us? Nothing we can do to show our love for Him will ever be enough to match the love of a Savior and Friend we have in our Lord YAHSHUA. Paul said, Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die; but God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5 7-8). And clearly, He desires to be your friend. Our love for one another will connect us to His love and His friendship toward us.

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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