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WHAT KIND OF FRIEND AREYOU?
When considering one's friendships and the priority thereof, this is a good place to start. Does this level of commitment exist in the relationship? For sure one would expect to be able to say this of a spouse, but what about others? When this standard is considered, the value of many surface relationships can be put into proper perspective.
When taken in context, this verse is couched in an entire teaching regarding love - the Father's love for Him, his love for us and our love for one another. It has even more meaning to believers than the basic relational statement.
Most notably, Jesus follows verse 13 by saying, "'You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 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.'" (John 15:14-15 NKJV) Imagine that - the Son of the Living God did not consider His followers (and by extension us) as servants but as friends!
He closed the passage out with the simple instruction, "'These things I command you, that you love one another.'" (John 15:17 NKJV) Self-sacrificial love is not just a good idea, it is what is expected, even commanded by our Savior.
That love will result in us being willing to give our lives for one another, as well as for those outside the faith to whom we are sent as messengers. "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (I John 3:16 NKJV)
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