As One Who Lays Down Their Life For Others
Friends derive our name from the Scripture passage John 15:15: “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.” When reading verse fifteen in isolation, there are no stipulations or directives—we are Jesus’ friends simply because he says so.
But if you back up a verse, Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” There is an “if,” a prerequisite—we must do what he commands in order to be his friends and receive his knowledge of the Father. So what does Jesus command? How do we know what to do? Back up two verses: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (v. 12).
What does it mean to love as Jesus loves? Verse thirteen tells us: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” To love as Jesus loves is to lay down our lives for others. Once we do that, if we do that, then we are his friends.
I feel like God is pointing me to one more Scripture to fully illuminate this passage today. Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” When God calls us to love, when he calls us to lay down our needs in deference to the needs of others, he doesn’t want us to do so once; he wants us to do so daily.
Query for Reflection
Can I honestly say I show love daily?
Commit to intentionally show Jesus’ love to someone every day. For the remainder of the 40 Days of Prayer, make a note in your journal each day about how you laid down your life for another and how it made you feel.
Lord, thank you for the invitation to be called “friend.” Bring people into my life who need to know your love. Help me lay down my life daily for them as I serve as a witness to your unfailing love.