Servant and Friend
by Ken Barnes

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. (John 15:15 NIV)

When we become a friend of Christ, are we no longer a servant?  Or, does friendship with Christ make us a more perfect servant?

Jesus calls his disciples friends but they were still servants.  A quick reading of this could lead us to conclude that a servant and a friend are two separate categories.  Scripture must always be compared other scripture before we can interpret it correctly.  If there was ever anyone who was a friend of Christ, it was the Apostle Paul.  Yet, at the beginning of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul says, “Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ,” not a friend of Christ.  Adding friendship to service, is determined by our motivation for serving.  Service to Christ should never be just legal or compulsory in nature.  We serve Christ because we want to, not because we have to, based on true affection.  It is possible to serve Christ and not be his friend, but it is not possible to be his friend without a desire to serve him.

Context is important for understanding the meaning of any verse of scripture. The previous verse (14), he tells them that his friends do what he tells them to do, and what us that?  To lay down their lies for their friends (13). Discipleship only happens through obedience and without it you will never be friends with God.  Friends confide with each other.  God reserves his secret thoughts for his servant friends. It is not servant or friend, but servant and friend.






I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission.  My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and Ukraine.  I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University.  [email protected]

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