Friend – John 15:13-17
“A friend loves at all times.”
*one who is attached to another by affection
** one who entertains sentiments of esteem, respect, and affection for another, which leads them to desire one another’s company and to seek to promote one another’s happiness and prosperity.
*** a companion, a partner found in mutuality
John 21:15-22 AMP
The Love that Jesus was referring to in John 21:15-22 was “agapao” – reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one Loves the Father (total commitment and devotion).
Peter’s reference to Love, however, was “phileo” – deep, instinctive, personal affection, as for a close friend.
The significance of the example is that, the Love of Jesus in operation is what would enable Peter to express the level of commitment that Jesus was asking of him. Jesus’s instructions to Peter in agapao (feed my lambs.. tend to My sheep.. feed My sheep.. Follow Me.) and Peter’s obeying would be the means by which the Love of Jesus (agapao) would be demonstrated through Peter’s life.
The Love of Jesus brought Peter from a deep, instinctive, personal affection for the Lord, to a reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion (total commitment), as one loves the Father. In the same way today, the Love of Christ is drawing both believers and unbelievers to a higher standard of love (agapao) – that very same Love that Jesus Himself displayed:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
In John 15:13-17, Jesus calls us friends, and then instructs us to Love. In v.14 He says “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” Then in v.17, “These things I command you, that you love one another.”
John 15 shows that even as the Love of Christ marked instruction and responsibility in the life of Peter, so do believers today also have instructions and a responsibility. In v.15, Jesus says, “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.”
As friends of Jesus then, we have been given a knowledge of the will of God – the will which is for us to Love! A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17), and we must always be looking to the Love of Jesus which enables us to live out what is pleasing in the eyes God, the Father. All that is necessary for us to fulfill the command to love is available to us in Jesus Christ! So, let us love others as Christ has loved us.. let us keep our love set on Him!
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”