I do not call you servants any longer, … but I have called you friends. — John 15:15
After Jesus send Judas on his way to betrayal, Jesus passes the baton to his disciples. Henceforth he will be murdered, and it will be up to his disciples to carry forth his message “love another as I have loved you” to the world.
Consider for a second how the disciples must have felt at that moment. Friendship is a special bond between two people. There is no agenda, no motive, if you are friends with someone you care about each other. There are no expectations and your love for a friend is unconditional.
For three long years, the disciples have followed Christ, now he tells them you are no longer my servant, no longer a mere follower, you are my “friend” and you know all my secrets. He tells them love one another, as I have loved you.
I think love in this context is more than affection for one another. The love Christ is talking about is commitment to each other.
Now it’s our turn. How do I treat everyone I meet? Do I treat the waitress who bring me a burger like a servant or a friend? How about the woman at the checkout line at Harris Teeter or the plumber who fixes a leaky pipe? As we pray that God be committed to our health and welfare like a friend, shouldn’t we do likewise?
As there was for the disciples a wonderful moment when the relationship shifted from being Jesus’s servants to friends, it is our call to do likewise — to eliminate servant from our vocabulary and substitute the word friend.