“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Jesus has rightly been communicated to the world as the King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15), the Prophet (Acts 3:22), the High Priest (Hebrews 2:17), and the Son of God (Matthew 17:5)! He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), our Advocate (1 John 2:1), our Deliverer (Romans 11:26), the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20), the Apostle of our Profession (Hebrews 3:1), and many more!
However, there is a title less often taught about Jesus, and that's that He is our friend. I know—it can be difficult to think that the "King of Kings" is our personal, trusted, friend whom we can kick back and hang out with. Growing up in a more formal religious setting, I never really connected with Jesus in deeper ways as my personal friend. It wasn't until much later that I began to discover Jesus as more than just my Lord but as my very good friend.
To encounter Jesus as Lord is vital and critical for so He is! However, many of us have grown up with elements of a "works-based" Gospel that leaves us with an impression that God only loves us when we obey Him and that He doesn't like us when we fall into sin. This leaves us with more of a task-master view of God then He would ever want. After all, how many people would desire to "hang out" with a "Lord" they think is looking over their shoulder waiting to catch them in sin.
The truth is that Jesus is our Lord, but He is also our Savior! He is our Advocate (1 John 2:1) who we can rest in and be comfortable with. Jesus is not with us to condemn us, but rather He is with us to help us. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and He is a friend who loves us right now just as we are. He is gentle, kind, patient, and honest. He is trustworthy and will never let us down.
Jesus longs for us to relate to Him as our friend. He loves when we invite Him into our lives in really practical ways. He loves when we invite Him to work, to fun, to walks, to our family dinner table, and even family movie night! He longs for this because...well...He loves us. Jesus really loves us. So much in fact that He was willing to die for us, His friends. (John 15:13)
If we're really honest with ourselves, we'd all admit that we're longing for a true friend. Someone to talk to for real. Someone who understands us through and through. Someone who loves us in good times and in bad. Someone who won't reject us and someone who puts their arm around us when we're hurting. Someone who sees the best in us and will never quit to help us achieve greater things.
Today, allow Jesus to be the friend He is. Talk with Him. I mean really talk with Him! Let Him talk with you. You're going to have a great time and you'll discover a whole new relationship with Jesus!
Steve Hannett is the founding Pastor of Abundant Grace Christian Church and Jesus Reigns International located in NJ. He carries a powerful apostolic, teaching, and healing anointing with signs, wonders, and miracles. He serves as local faculty with the Antioch School of Leadership, and is an apostolic leader with Christ Covenant Coalition.