Why Did Jesus Called His Disciples Friends?

Jesus Christ, son of God and savior of the world, called his disciples “friends” in the gospel of John. This is a remarkable statement that reveals the character of Jesus and his relationship with his followers. In this article, we will explore the significance of this statement and what it means for us as believers.

Jesus and His Disciples

Jesus had twelve disciples whom he chose to follow him during his earthly ministry. These men came from various backgrounds, but they all shared a common desire to follow Jesus and learn from him. Over time, they developed a close relationship with him as they traveled together, witnessed his miracles, and listened to his teachings.

Friendship in Ancient Times

In ancient times, the term “friend” had a different meaning than it does today. Friendship was not just about companionship or socializing; it was a deep bond based on loyalty and trust. Friends were expected to be there for each other through thick and thin, no matter what challenges they faced.

When Jesus called his disciples “friends,” he was inviting them into this kind of relationship with him. He was saying that he trusted them and that they could trust him in return. He was also acknowledging their loyalty to him by treating them as equals rather than just followers.

The Characteristics of Friendship

Friendship is characterized by several key elements that are relevant to our understanding of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples:

  • Loyalty: Friends are loyal to each other even when things get tough.
  • Honesty: Friends are honest with each other even when it’s difficult.
  • Trust: Friends trust each other implicitly.
  • Sacrifice: Friends are willing to sacrifice for each other.
  • Love: Friends love each other unconditionally.

These qualities are evident in the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus was loyal to them, even when they failed him (such as when Peter denied him).

He was honest with them, even when it meant telling them things they didn’t want to hear (such as when he predicted his own death). He trusted them enough to entrust them with his mission and teachings. He sacrificed his life for them on the cross out of love.

The Implications for Believers

As believers, we can learn from Jesus’ example of friendship with his disciples. We too are called to be friends of God and friends of each other.

We can strive to be loyal, honest, trustworthy, sacrificial, and loving in our relationships with others. We can also trust in God’s friendship with us and rely on him for guidance and support.

In John 15:15, Jesus says to his disciples, “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.” This statement reveals the intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and the depth of knowledge that he shared with them.

As we seek to follow Christ more closely, let us also strive to be true friends to those around us. And let us never forget that we have a friend in Jesus who loves us unconditionally and will always be there for us.