John 15:12-16:4  (Friendship with Jesus)


Final thoughts – Love is a key word in this section – used 16 times in Ch. 13-16  John got the message!


Key subject with John -  He uses the word love 42 in his 3 epistles – total of 7 Chapters

A)Total of 132 verses – so he is talking about love every 3.5 verses


B)Why so much emphasis on love! – Heart of Jesus – 2 commandments


C) No love noisy gong! -  Not very appealing.


D) John 15 – Abiding – One of the results abiding is that we will bear fruit !

1) The Primary fruit that we are going to bear is the fruit of Love!


12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 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. 


A)Now here the Lord introduces a new idea – He says to his disciples – I no longer call you servants – but I call you friends

B) “Because He is Lord & Master He has every right to call us servants

1)– But He has chosen to call us friends


Now this wasn’t just a casual statement – One full of great significance and meaning.


C) This was a very special and unique title: Biblically speaking – In the OT there is only one person who was given that special title of the friend of God –

1) That was Abe


D) Jesus includes his disciples in that special – group and this really now applies to any believer in Jesus Christ – Title of the friend of Jesus

1) Hymn – What a friend we have in Jesus


But the title also Bears significance in the Culture of the day.

A)William Barclay & Kittles give us insight as it relates to the Roman Emperors and Eastern Kings


“At these courts there was a very select group of men who were called “The friends of the king, or the friends of the Emperor.  At all times they had access to the king. They even had the right to come into his bedchamber at the beginning of the day. - The friends of the king were those who had the closest & the most intimate connection with him, and who had the right to come to him at any time.”

So Jesus wasn’t being sentimental – here: Making an important observation. Shift in their relationship

A)Their following – their service – their keeping on – was to be motivated by a special friendship


If you visit Nashville, Tennessee, you will likely visit the home of President Andrew Jackson. He is remembered as "Old Hickory," a rough, tough, hard-fighting man. When you visit his tomb, you'll see a different side to the man. Buried right next to him is his Slave. That humble servant was married in the great mansion of the President. In his will Jackson gave him a lifetime position. All his life he lived next to Jackson and is buried beside him. When you consider the social challenges of that time, you know there was an amazing bond between the president and his Slave.

B)Jesus invites us to share in that same kind of special relationship


The text gives us insight into some of the evidences & Characteristics of being a friend of Jesus. 6 things

#1 Friendship with Jesus is evidenced by obedience 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 


A)Now although this primarily speaks of obedience – there is also depicted for us in this verse the idea of the mutual heart.

Philippians  2:19-20

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.


Now it is there that Paul describes Timothy as being Likeminded – another translation puts it a Kindred Spirit.

A)Literally one souled!


B) Timothy was of the same heart / mind / spirit as Paul

1) Loyal to Paul and a good representative of Paul.


C) I believe that is also the idea here – the disciples keep His commandments – because they caught His heart

1) Their obedience wasn’t just out of Duty – but sprung from the devotion of their friendship


D) That is a key to healthy discipleship – and ministry.


E)So Not just a condition – If you are my friends – you will keep my commandments

1) But more the evidence of the fact that they are his friends – evidenced by their willingness to keep his commandments


It is one thing to have pp who do what you ask because you are the “Boss” -  But it is another thing – When you are friends { That motivates

A)Over time I have forged a special friendship with some of our guys that minister here with me!

1) Battle wounds – scars -   Developed a Like mindedness - 


B) Loyal They do what I ask – based more on friendship than anything else

1) Loyalty there that is special – Die for each other.


C) That is a special feeling – Kindred Spirits – Same soul – Blessing!


D) So first evidence : Friendship with Jesus is marked by obedience.


 Evidence #2 Friends of Jesus love like Jesus.

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 


A)Notice it’s a commandment—which means love is not a matter of emotion, but it is a choice.


B) Jesus doesn’t ever command us to feel something. He commands us to do something.


C)Our friendship with Christ is going to be evidenced by our actions – not only our words –

1) Primary action is love for One another.


D) Now this is where so many in the Church struggle – Respond so much by feelings.

1)How can I show love to that person – I don’t feel anything for them – don’t like them is how I feel.


But Jesus’ teaching, love is not so much an emotion as a decision.

A)And the beautiful thing is, oftentimes when you implement the action, the emotion will follow.


B)Guys, maybe you’ve lost the feeling for your wife. 1) Treat her like a treasure, and your emotions will follow because Jesus taught that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also (Luke 12:34).


C) Our culture has lost the meaning of what real love is. That is why, husbands and wives are saying, “I don’t have feelings for him or her anymore, so I’m leaving.”


D) But feelings aren’t the issue. Love is not an emotion or a feeling. It’s a decision.

1) It’s an action. “My commandment,” Jesus said, “is that you make the decision to love.” Heart follows


Defines how we are to Love? As I have loved you!

A)Now to love like Jesus especially when the emotions are not there – requires one thing! – Death

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 


B)An entire nation was revived when John Knox prayed, “Lord, give me Scotland, or I die.”


C)But what many people don’t know is what Knox wrote concerning the answer to that prayer.


D)The Lord responded in his heart, saying, “First die, then I’ll give you Scotland.”

we pray “Make this relationship work, or I’m going to die,”.

“Die first,” the Lord says. 


E) Laying down your life for wife / neighbor / co – worker is not only the PROOF of your love, but the PATHWAY to love. 


So Friendship evidenced by obedience / #2 Loving like Jesus


#3 Friendship with Jesus means we know the truth. 15 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.

Friends don’t keep you in the dark. – They share things with you.

A)Acquaintances are people who know us on the outside, on the surface.


B)Friends are people who know us on the inside, our joys, hurts, failures, the secret plans of our lives.


C) Because these were his friends He wanted them to know the truth

Luke 10:23-24 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see;  24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it." 


We too have been given a unique privilege of Knowing the truth

A)Spiritual discerned – We have the Spirit


1 Corinthians 2:9-10

9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."   10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.


B)The Spirit searches the deep things of God – reveals them to us

#4 Friendship with Jesus has a special purpose.

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.


Sometimes people will say: I found the Lord – Well he has never been lost – We were lost – He found us

A)All drafted – no one enlisted


B) Gayle Irwin One of the main things  I don’t understand about God – is why He chose me !


C) Paul spent his life trying to understand that one

Why for what reason – apprehended me

1)    Love that phrase – being apprehended by God


D) Pursuing heart of God! – Not a policeman to bust us but a father to bless us.


He chose us for a purpose – He uses the term appointed = sent for a special reason – to bear fruit.

A)When it comes to Humanity - Jesus has two  passions:


B)He has a passion for the lost -  See men saved –

He has a passion for the Church. – His bride – Built up / taken care of .

1) He wants his friends to share in that passion.


C)Makes sense – Your best friends are going to be those who are into what you are into. { As believers –common fellowship is Christ


D)But it really helps – friends are into what you are into. – Me Ministry – Most of my close friends are involved in one way or another in ministry – we share that passion


Sharing that passion with Jesus!


So there is a purpose to our Friendship with Christ – It is meant to bear fruit.


#5 Jesus was real with His friends Rd V.17- 16:4

A)Jesus was letting his disciples know – Hard times were ahead { Persecution was coming. { Not stumble


1) Insight into prophecy – meant to strengthen us


B) But He prefaces this whole section by reminding them again – Love each other 17 These things I command you, that you love one another. 


C)Connection HERE!


D) The world is out to get the Christian – The world is against us – so all we have is each other.


E)Now here in America this doesn’t mean as much to us as it should – WE don’t really suffer persecution

1) Here in the USA we have all our little petty divisions

All these petty little things we divide over{  different doctrinal views{ 

A)Schisms -  She hurt my feelings – not talking to her.

1) He gets on my nerves – avoiding him


All that gets thrown out the window in the face of Persecution ‘

A)No enemies in a fox whole.


B)But you go somewhere like the Sudan where you can lose your life for the gospel

1) Suddenly it really doesn’t matter if you are Pre/ Post trib / Calvinist of Armenian


C) Countries have Pentecostals burying Baptist –

1) Not really concerned about Stocks / Chargers / Padres – { Trying to stay alive


D) They just love each other.


So Jesus is warning his followers that Difficult time are ahead.

A)I appreciate this about Jesus – Being a Christian is not a bed of roses! –


B)Sometimes I cringe at the way Christianity is presented here in America – We are so Prosperous – Materially


C) We often equate blessing with smooth sailing

1) Simply not true – and it is a slap in the face to Christians in other countries – who are being persecuted.


Text Reveals some reasons for Persecution.  4 Reasons

#1 Christians are not of this world V.18-19

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 


A)The world dislikes those who are different! (example)

It is said that if a hen w/a different marking is put into a hen run where all the hens are the same, the other hens will peck her to death.


B) John 3 Darkness hates the light – exposes their evil deeds)

1)And when light shines, people in the dark get real uneasy.

2) Like bugs under a rock, they start scrambling and fleeing


B) Whenever a Christian makes a stand for righteousness – morals – speaks up against immorality injustice – Square

1) Hated intolerant –


#2 They hated Jesus 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.{ We should expect it }

A)I read an interview with the people who made the movie the Nativity


B) Don’t you think you are being bias and imposing – shoving your views on to us!


C) Try to have that same argument – Homosexuality – Scream

1) Jesus they get mad !


D) Talk religion – great Buddha Krishna – whoever – Jesus as a teacher prophet – But the minute you say – Only way – FOUL


The world hates the Jesus of the Bible! – You stand for that Jesus – You proclaim that Jesus – Hate you

A)I do think this is going to grow here in the U.S.

1) Harder –to be a Christian – but more defined


B)  Last days – Europe growing -


C) Word of Hope though

20b If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.


However there will be some who believe – not all are going to be hostile


#3 They really don’t know God.

A)In V.21-25 Jesus says  - There are those who claim to Know God – reject me ! Not true


B) Can’t know God and hate me -


C) The world is without excuse – no one will be able to say – I didn’t know –


Think about what these men saw: Miracles galore – Blind see lame walk – Dead raised – Laz / Jairus daughter / Widow Nains son

A)OT prophecies – they were without excuse – Proof that Jesus was sent by God – Who He said He was


B) But so are we – Creation testifies to the existence of God

1) Prophecies of the Bible – EMPTY TOMB – Proof of Resurrection


C Jesus Christ made a powerful, nonnegotiable proclamation when He said to all mankind,

“If you don’t love Me, if you don’t acknowledge Me, if you hate Me, you hate My Father also. Period. End of quote.”


Quoting from Psalm 35 where the Psalmist is writing about being wrongfully accused { No cause!

No reason


#6 Jesus doesn’t leave his Friends Helpless. V.26,27


"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.  27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. 



HS Help you thru it