God provides numerous titles for Himself in Scripture. He is Great I AM, Great Physician, Father, Creator, Redeemer, Provider, etcetera. Considering the titles for God makes for a wonderful Bible study, but the list is far too extensive for a short article. It is also interesting to study the Biblical titles for God’s people: church, Kingdom of God, redeemed, children, heirs, etc. There is beautiful, rich truth in every title. Each one clarifies our identity in Christ along with assurance and promise to which we should cling. However, one title has been difficult for me. Jesus calls me His friend.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Really?! Jesus would call me His friend? Has He no idea how many times I have failed Him? Has He not considered my selfishness and weakness? And yet He calls me friend.
I prefer to remember Him as the King of Kings or the Most High God. Calling myself His friend just seems more comfortable than I deserve. It appears to lack the reverence He is due. And yet He calls me friend. To reject this identity is to reject the truth that Christ declares, and it is always wise to embrace the truth of God’s Word.
So I must learn to embrace His friendship as well as His lordship. Friends trust. Friends defend each other’s honor. They won’t allow others to speak poorly about their friend. Friends serve each other with joyful hearts. It is not a burden but an honor to be of service to a friend. Friends are thrilled at the opportunity to spend time together.
May you and I learn to be friends of the Savior of the World.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
–What a Friend We Have in Jesus, by Joseph Scriven