"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15)
The highest proof of true friendship, and one great source of its blessedness, is the intimacy which withholds nothing, and allows the friend to share in our innermost secrets. It is a blessed thing to be Christ's servant. His redeemed ones delight to call themselves His slaves. Christ often spoke of the disciples as His servants. In His great love, our Lord now says, "Henceforth I call you not servants." With the coming of the Holy Spirit, a new era was to be inaugurated. "The servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth." He has to obey without being consulted or admitted into the secret of all his master's plans. "But, I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Christ's friends share with Him in all the secrets the Father has entrusted to Him.
Let us think what this means.When Christ spoke of keeping His Father's commandments, He did not mean merely what was written in Holy Scripture. He was also referring to those special commandments which were communicated to Him day by day, and from hour to hour. It was of these He said, "The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works" (John 5:20). All that Christ did was God's working. God showed it to Christ, so that He could carry out the Father's will and purpose. He did so, not blindly and unintelligently, as man often does, but with full understanding and approval. As one who stood in God's counsel. He knew God's plan.
And this now is the blessedness of being Christ's friends. We do not, as servants, do His will without much spiritual insight into its meaning and aim. But, we are admitted, as an inner circle, into some knowledge of God's more secret thoughts. From the day of Pentecost on, by the Holy Spirit, Christ was to lead His disciples into a spiritual comprehension of the mysteries of the Kingdom. Before this, He had only spoken about them in parables.
Friendship delights in fellowship. Friends hold council. Friends trust each other with things that they would not, for anything, want others to know. What is it that gives a Christian access to this holy intimacy with Jesus? What gives him the spiritual capacity for receiving the communications Christ has to make of what the Father has shown Him? "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
It is loving obedience which purifies the soul. That refers not only to the commandments of the Word, but to that blessed application of the Word to our daily life. No one but our Lord Himself can give that. But as these are waited for in dependence and humility, and faithfully obeyed, he soul becomes fitted for ever-closer fellowship. And, daily, friendship may become a continual experience. "I have called you friends ... for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you."
I have called you friends. What an unspeakable honor! What a heavenly privilege! O Saviour, speak the word with power into my soul, "I have called you My friend, whom I love, whom I trust, to whom I make known all that passes between my Father and Me."