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. You did not choose me, but I chose you … John 15:15-16
He has called us friends, phílos in the Greek – “a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.”i
Isn’t that amazing? You and I can hear God say this to us: I have called you friend, dearly loved and prized in a personal, intimate way, a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.
And can this mighty King
Of glory condescend?
And will he write his name,
“My Father and my Friend?”
I love his name,
I love his word;
Join all my powers
And praise the Lord.
— Isaac Watts, Psalm 169
Condescend: To stoop or descend; to yield; to submit; implying a relinquishment of rank, or dignity of character, and sometimes a sinking into debasement. — Webster’s Dictionary 1828
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)
“The sovereign King does “condescend.” He does call Himself our Father and Friend. This is the essence of the gospel: the mighty God seeks a relationship with the people He created.” The One Year Book of Hymns, February 23ii
You did not choose me, but I chose you …
“The Christian faith is not an ethereal, fluffy philosophy. It is the concretized, mystical union between Jesus Christ and his people. The meaning of our chosenness is waking up to the face of his choosing us and responding by reorienting our entire lives around seeking him and his Kingdom.” — J.D. Walt
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. Psalm 25:14 (ESV)
i HELPS Word-studies for Strong’s #5384, Discovery Bible, 2021
ii One Year Book of Hymns, compiled and edited by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton, devotions written by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen
Image copyright by Jack Bair