Friendship is Lovely



Session 2 – Friendship is lovely
Tucked inside of all the wisdom found in John’s Gospel, we find a section of verses that offer us another sandwich.
Not the lunch kind of sandwich, but the relationship kind of sandwich.
Remember in week one of our study when we had a grace and truth sandwich in John 1? Jesus full of grace and truth and coming from grace and truth?
John is evidentially a big fan of chiastic structure, or emphasizing his point with “the sandwich.”
Let’s read John 15:12-17:
 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant[b] does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
Underline or highlight in your Bible the word “friends” in one color and the words “love” or “loved” in another. You can see my example in the picture above if you don’t have your hard copy Bible handy.
First, can you see the sandwich? This is my commandment – love one another (v. 12). These things I command you – love one another (v. 17).
What is the meat of the sandwich this time? Friendship.
Jesus calls us His friends. He pours His agape love into us in many ways, as children, as fellow heirs and brothers and sisters, as the Bride. But let us not forget. He calls us friend.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit;
Oh, what needless pain we bear–
All because we do not carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged–
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a Friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness–
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge–
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Joseph M. Scriven  (LSB 770)
God exists in friendship. There is a reason friendship is such a precious thing, especially to us lady-folk. We may not need a boatload of friends, but we all need one really good friend. We were made to long for that friend, as a way to see Christ’s love alive and active in our lives.
Need a friend? You have one in Jesus. A real man, who walked the real and difficult soil of Earth. But it’s ok to long for a today friend, a right in front of you drinking your coffee friend, a hug you when it hurts kind of friend, a laugh until you cry kind of friend. That’s Jesus too. Poured from one heart to another and this is a precious offering of ourselves to Him, in friendship with one another.
How many times is prayer mentioned in the hymn above? It’s not a coincidence. God is listening. Pray for a friend. Thank Him for a friend. Embrace Him as your very best friend, who never ever fails, when everyone else does.

Lovely.

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