Why Did Jesus Call Disciples Friends?

Jesus Christ is one of the most well-known figures in history, and his teachings have influenced billions of people around the world. One of the most interesting things about Jesus is how he referred to his disciples as friends. This may seem like a small detail, but it has significant implications for our understanding of Jesus and his message.

What Does It Mean to Be a Friend?

To understand why Jesus called his disciples friends, we first need to explore what it means to be a friend. A friend is someone who you trust and who trusts you in return. Friends are people who share their lives with each other, who support each other through good times and bad, and who are there for each other no matter what.

When Jesus called his disciples friends, he was indicating that he saw them as more than just followers or students. He saw them as equals, as people whom he trusted and respected. This was a radical idea at the time, as most religious leaders saw themselves as being above their followers.

The Importance of Friendship in Christianity

The idea of friendship is central to Christianity. In fact, Jesus himself said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-34). This commandment emphasizes the importance of relationships with both God and others.

Friendship is also important because it helps us to live out our faith in tangible ways. When we have close relationships with others, we can show them the love and compassion that Christ showed us. We can be there for them when they are struggling or hurting, we can offer words of encouragement or wisdom when needed, and we can share our faith journey with them.

Jesus’ Friendship with His Disciples

Jesus’ relationship with his disciples was unique in many ways. He spent three years traveling with them, teaching them, and showing them how to live out their faith. He also shared meals with them, prayed with them, and even performed miracles in their presence.

Through all of this, Jesus modeled what it means to be a true friend. He was patient and kind with his disciples, even when they didn’t understand his teachings or made mistakes.

He listened to them and cared about their concerns. And he ultimately showed his love for them by sacrificing himself on the cross for their sins.

The Implications of Jesus’ Friendship with His Disciples

The fact that Jesus called his disciples friends has significant implications for how we view our relationships with others. It reminds us that we are all equal in the eyes of God and that we should treat each other with respect and kindness.

It also challenges us to look beyond our own needs and desires and to focus on the needs of others. As Christians, we are called to serve others just as Jesus served his disciples.

Finally, it reminds us that our faith is not just about following rules or beliefs but about living in community with others. When we cultivate friendships based on trust, respect, and love, we create a space where God’s love can be shared and experienced in tangible ways.


In conclusion, Jesus’ decision to call his disciples friends was not just a simple choice of words but a powerful statement about the importance of relationships in the Christian faith. By modeling true friendship with his disciples, he showed us how to live out our faith in practical ways that bring glory to God and benefit those around us. May we all strive to follow his example as we seek to love God and neighbor through friendship and service.