“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

We’re looking at the ‘YOU ARE’ statements of Jesus. The ‘YOU ARE’ statements of Jesus remind us of the identity we have through our faith in Christ. Jesus never indicated in his teaching that his followers would be obscure and unprepared for the challenges before them. Quite the opposite. We are the salt that brings out the best in the world; we are the light to guide the world to fulfillment; we are so intertwined with the Son of God that others would be hard-pressed to see the difference between us and Him.

Now, Jesus moves further yet. Salt, light and abiding in him bring us into a friendship like none other. The fourth of our ‘YOU ARE’ statements is one that we tend to forget most often. Jesus tells us in John 15:15 that, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Think about what that verse is really saying. Jesus, the Son of God, the one who stood beside the Father and helped him create this beautiful world we live in calls us friends. Too often we get wrapped up in religious tradition and focus on the theology of scripture and, in so doing, lose the significance of the fact that God wants to be friends with you.

What must it have been like in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool evening air. The human couple, no doubt, had so many questions to ask their friend, and he enjoyed their company immensely.

That friendship was lost when Adam and Eve fell into sin. The whole story of mankind is God’s attempt at regaining the friendship he lost with us as a result of sin. That’s why Jesus came to die on the cross. It wasn’t just to forgive our sins. It wasn’t just so we could live in eternity with Christ in Heaven. It was because he wanted to restore a lost and cherished friendship with us.

When I was about 6 years old, my family spent an entire summer living in a small, borrowed cottage on a lake. A few cottages down from us, another family moved in to spend the summer as well. I was excited because this family had a boy my age. My new found friend and I played from sunrise to sunset exploring the shoreline, walking nearby trails, having all sorts of adventures.

One day we got into a horrible argument. I don’t remember to this day what it was about, but I do remember spending the next two or three days without my friend because we refused to talk with one another. I remember the loneliness. I remember the sadness. When good friends fight it cuts a part of you out.

I also remember reconciling the relationship. We both said we were sorry. There were a few moments of awkwardness, and then, as if nothing had happened, we were off on some new, exciting, great adventure. Our friendship was restored!

When Jesus says, I no longer call you servants, I call you friends, what he’s really doing is calling us back to the relationship he’d always wanted to have with us. A relationship that sin has kept us from having with him.

Sin isn’t a very popular term in our society. We like to call it poor choices, bad decisions or any number of other things. But the fact is, sin is sin and it separates us from a God who wants to befriend us but simply can’t outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

So, what does friendship with Jesus look like? I want to leave you with an acronym that reminds us of true friendship in our earthly realm and, especially with God through Jesus Christ. The acronym is the word CRUSH. Now, you might think it’s an odd acronym because usually we associate this word with passing feeling temporary infatuation, but bear with me on that part.

  1. The C in CRUSH stands for Confidant. Jesus says, in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

A good friend is one who is willing to confide in you about their deepest, darkest secrets. They are comfortable telling you their true feelings because they know they can trust you and that you won’t think less of them for how they feel.

Friendship with Jesus means he is willing to listen to our struggles, but not only that, he wants to help us understand life, others, and God himself. The deeper our friendship with Jesus, the easier it is to understand life.

  1. The R in CRUSH stands for Reliable. Proverbs 18:24 says “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Reliable friends are friends you can trust. They won’t lead you into things you shouldn’t be in. They won’t drag you into gossip or other activities that tarnish your relationship with family, God or others. You can trust a reliable friend to think of your best interests. You can trust Jesus to think of your best interests too.
  2. The U in CRUSH stands for Understanding. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Loyal friends understand your feelings. They may not agree with them, but they will stand by you. Who better to understand you than Jesus? He was there when you were formed in your mothers womb. He has watched you grow up, been there through the struggles, sees your pain, your emotional scars, your fears, your worries. He will always be there for you.
  3. The S in CRUSH stands for Sincere. Proverbs 27:5-6 tells us, ‘Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ This verse reminds us that good friends are sincere. When they see you on a slippery path to destruction they will warn you of the consequences; they may try to show you the error of your ways. But they will always do so in love. They will always stand by you even if you make the wrong choices.
  4. The H in CRUSH stands for Healing. The ultimate sacrifice is the sacrifice of one’s life for another. Jesus said, in John 15:13, ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’

We celebrate the heroes of our lives, but the greatest hero of all is Jesus Christ. He gave his life so we can live, not only here on earth, but in eternity with him. By giving his life for us we can be healed or forgiven of our sins. He is a friend we can count on, and he earnestly wants to have a deepening friendship with us.

My prayer for us today is that we will remember that Jesus wants to grow deeper in friendship with us. There is nothing you have done, or will do that will cause him to longer be your friend. He offers you forgiveness and strength to face the battles ahead.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m amazed that you would choose to be my friend. Thank you for giving your life for me and that you base your love for me on who you are and not on what I can do for you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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