That's What Friends Are For

Sermon Text:  John 15:12-17

I believe this passage of Scripture in John may contain one of the most important messages we can receive from Christ.  In it … Jesus makes the promise of friendship to us.  Do you understand the full impact of its meaning?  Jesus says, “I do not call you servants any longer … but I have called you friends.”

                This is the day before Christ is betrayed.  And even though he knows what’s about to happen, Jesus wants his disciples to be sure and KNOW that they are his friends.  In this brief, little paragraph, Jesus gives four proofs of the friendship.  Two are from His side and two are from our side.

              The First Proof of the friendship from Jesus’ side is a very famous proof.  He says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  This first proof we are his friends is the most ancient and important of all the signs of friendship.

                In our relationships with one another, sometimes [or even often] we place conditions on our friendships.  We say or think something like: “Oh, you’re my friend?  Well then, what have you done for me lately?”  That is definitely a little crude, but we have to admit that it’s the oldest sign of friendship … the sign of what you do for someone that proves your friendship.

                We hate to admit it, but that is the test … isn’t it?  Be honest now … because when push comes to shove, we discover who our friends are by what they do for us … and we find it out sometimes in emergency situations...Read full sermon here (PDF)