Jesus, He’s My Friend?

You are my friends if you do what I command you.– John 15:14

It is to be carefully noted that Christ did not here say, “I am your friend.” Just now there is a great deal in the more popular hymnbooks about Jesus as our friend. How few seem to appreciate the desire of our Lord to make us His friends!

The difference is very real. When a man who has attained the highest position in the nation notices a man of the laboring class and calls him his friend, it is a condescension, for he hereby exalts that unknown man to his own level. But for the insignificant man to say of the famous one, ‘He’s my friend,’ by no means exalts that one; indeed, it might be considered a presumption, a piece of impudence. This familiarity, this calling Jesus our Friend, is dimming in people’s hearts the consciousness that He is something more than that: He is out Savior! He is our Lord! He is really, in His own essential nature, our God” (Mr. C. H. Bright). The same rebuke is called for by those who term the incarnate Son of God their elder Brother! It is true that He, in marvelous grace, is “not ashamed to call us brethren,” but it ill requites that grace for us to term Him our “Elder Brother.” Let us ever remember His own word “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13).

– A.W. Pink, Commentary on the Gospel of John