Many people in our western culture confuse knowing Christ with merely reading the Bible once in a while. If this is all it took to understand who Jesus was in order to be in right standing with Him, then all the Pharisees wouldn’t have been scolded by Jesus.
Our culture feeds this mentality that all you have to do is read about someone to be able to call them “friend.” We read profiles, “about” sections, and then take a peek at some photo albums and believe we have some sort of understanding of a person’s life. We then call them “friends” yet have no concept of the word. Even if everyone in the world were to write autobiographies about themselves, and even if we were to read them all, we would have no idea what our friend’s laugh sounded like… if we never spent time with them.
Jesus is not a twitter like, a Facebook profile, or words on a page. No amount of reading, verse memorization, or Pharisaical pursuit of the words on a page, will ever outweigh a personal relationship with the Savior of the world and Lord of all creation. Jesus is not a fictitious character in a storybook that we relate to from a distance. Jesus is THE living, breathing, Son of God, who walked this earth, lived a life we couldn’t live, and died the death we all deserved…and he called us his friends.
No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.
You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.
I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]
Let that sink in for a second because these verses are loaded.
In verse 13 Jesus states that the greatest love someone could possess is the willingness to “lay down his own life for his friends.”
Spoiler alert: Jesus died for ALL OUR SINS
He then says, in verse 14, that we are His friends if we do what He commands of us. He calls us friends…when we were the ones that put Him on the cross. He laid down HIS life for all of us, therefore no one has a greater love than Jesus Christ.
Then, in verse 15 Jesus says that the reason he calls us friends instead of servants is because He has revealed/made known to His disciples (those sealed by His Holy Spirit) EVERYTHING that He has heard from the Father. This means that through His written word, His life, and His Holy Spirit, He has revealed to us EVERYTHING that we need to be aware of in order to OBEY and KNOW Him.
God the Father, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit, are outside of time and therefore don’t make mistakes, don’t forget important details and they didn’t leave any details out for man to “fill in the blanks.” Man is sinful, and therefore flawed. Jesus would not leave out important details for Humans to make up along the way. He wouldn’t be God if He did that. Therefore no “new” information or additional special revelations were/are necessary. The Holy Spirit revealed/reveals the character of Christ and remains consistent with Jesus’ life and Jesus written word.
To put all of this into perspective:
If Jesus created a Facebook account, friend requested everyone (knowing that many would reject him) and then tasked us with getting everyone to “like” His page and “follow” Him on twitter…He would be nothing more than another bandwagon and trend to follow. If one day He decided to deactivate His account and “die” to all of His followers, it would only be a matter of days before a new Bandwagon/Trend would take over.
While these trends may still support and point to things that Jesus died for, we still are tasked with KNOWING JESUS. If the world would remember the Lord our God there wouldn’t be any other “bandwagon” or cause we would ever need to support or raise awareness for.
- Feeds the hungry
- Clothes the naked
- Frees the slaves
- Lifts up the poor
- Humbles the proud
- Erases hatred
- Heals the broken-hearted
- Eliminates sickness
- Adopts those without a family and brings them into HIS family
- Fathers the fatherless
- Brings hope to the hopeless
- Willingly faced the wrath of God out of His great LOVE for us
Jesus DIED in our place, took on an impossible weight, and in three days…
FOR HIS BRIDE–FOR US!
That, my friends, is who Jesus is and how much He loves us. THAT is why we serve Him. He is the ONLY God that loved and died for sinners.
He writes truth on our Hearts and guards us against the false teachings of this world. It’s not enough to just read about a God who would go to such great lengths for love, we MUST get to know Him and be in relationship with Him. Our lives depend on it.
[King of Kings. Lord of Lords. Jesus]