You are My Friends

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John 15:15 ESV

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

The word used here for servant, is the word ‘doulos’—a servant, bondservant or slave. The followers of the Lord Jesus were indeed considered as their Master’s servants. However, as the Lord points out, a master does not reveal to his servants matters of private or personal concern.

Although the disciples are Jesus’ servants, the Lord does not look upon them as slaves or servants, but as friends or companions. Indeed, they are God’s children. They are fellow-heirs with God’s Son. They are brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Cf. Gal. 4:6-7; Heb. 2:11-12) Here, however, the Lord speaks of them as friends—in contrast to servants—thus emphasising the inseparable bond existing between Jesus and his disciples. Just as the branch is united to the vine, so were the disciples united to Christ.

As a rule, the servant or slave does not learn intimate details about family relationships. However, Jesus revealed to his disciples everything that his Father made known to him in heaven. Indeed, no one can come to know the Father—or the things of the Father—unless the Son reveals these things to him.

Thus, in Matthew chapter 11, it is written:

(25) At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; (26) yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

(27) “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt. 11:25-27 ESV)

Again, in Matthew chapter 13, God’s Word says:

(11) And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. (Matt. 13:11 ESV)

And, in Luke chapter 10:

(23) Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! (24) For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23-24 ESV)

Again, in John’s Gospel chapter 17, the Lord says:

(6) “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (7) Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. (8) For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me…

(26) “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:6-8,26 ESV)

Therefore, in John 15 verse 15, Jesus says to his disciples:

(15) “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (ESV)

If the Lord Jesus considers us to be his friends, then what will he not do for us? What good will he withhold from those who love him and obey his teaching?



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