Monday March 23, 2009
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. John 15:15-16.
There is an incredible comfort in these words. There is a world of difference between the relationship of an employer and employee, and enjoyment in the company of friends. The first is mostly a mercenary relationship, the latter a voluntary sharing of ourselves. The expectation of the business relationship is generally clear; salary paid for work done. Anything beyond that is simply generosity from either side.
Furthermore, our text declares that an employer does not ordinarily share all his company information freely with his employees, but good friend have few secrets from each other. If we have to be guarded about what we share with someone, then what we experience is not real friendship. Generally, the closer the relationship, the freer we feel to disclose ourselves to them. The depth of the friendship Jesus offers us is measured by his disclosure to us of all that the Father has taught him.
Of course, this raises the question of how all the information Jesus has can be passed to us. But the text is clear: it is not all that he knows, but all that the Father has given him for us. That information is complete, as complete as the work he has done for us on Calvary. This reminds me that “he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom 8:32-33).
As Ann and I enter the last week before my surgery and Ann’s foot surgery the week following mine, we are glad to have the support of local friends and family for any need during that time. But of greater comfort is the knowledge that our greatest friend, God himself, goes with us.