“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” 15:10
I’m not a very good friend. Or at least, I wasn’t before I started following Jesus. I’d be pretty selfish, I usually gossiped easily and would choose whatever boy I had a crush on over my friends if it came down to it. But the more I got to know Jesus, the more I realized being Christ-like means being a good friend.
In 15:10-15, He urges the disciples to love each other unconditionally and sacrificially, pouring out their lives for one another and serving each other whole-heartedly. Friendship does not take a back seat to marriage. From what we can tell in the Bible, Jesus was unmarried. He reflected God’s love through his relationship with the disciples constantly!
What does it look like to be a friend like Jesus?
- Share meals together. This requires intention, a freed up schedule and expanding the grocery budget a little. Keep it simple, but it’s not going to happen on it’s own. Save room in your schedule so that if someone invites you over, you’re available. And extend invites as well! Jesus always had a way of extending hospitality even though he was always the guest in other people’s homes.
- Celebrate with them. Jesus was regularly attending weddings, meals, festivals, etc.
- Mourn with them. Being a good friend means meeting them in their sorrows, and grieving their loss alongside them.
- Be generous with your time. Jesus was with his people, he took opportunities when he had them, he asked thought-provoking questions and told good stories.
- He prioritized his relationship with God. Jesus regularly slipped off to pray or be alone. He sabbathed, fasted and rested. Being a godly friend requires healthy disciplines.
Who in your life has modeled godly friendship to you? Take a minute and let them know! And thank God for them.