About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Servants Or Friends   


1 Peter 1:18 and 19 read:


"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."


Peter reminded his readers, and us as well, that Jesus has redeemed us with His blood, with His very earthly life, as the words "His blood" implies.  The apostle Paul said it this way, when in 1 Corinthians 6:20, he said that Jesus bought us.  This purchase has set us free and has provided the ability for us to serve Jesus instead of serving our sinful selves.  In fact, we become servants of Christ.  In other words, Jesus owns us.       


Now read John 15:15.


"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masterís business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."


It's clear that the New Testament portrays Christians as servants of Jesus, but John 15:15 says that Jesus calls us friends instead of servants.  What's going on here?  Are we servants or are we friends?  We are both.   


Our servant Master relationship is premised on the word "friends" in John 15:15, which has little resemblance to the servant master relationship seen in the first-century, Greco-Roman world.  I say this because of the Greek word "philos" that is translated as friends in John 15:15.  Philos is one of six Greek words, each having their precise meaning, that are translated into English as love.  Philos suggests a reciprocal, free-flowing exchange of love between two or more people.  In regard to being servants of Jesus, then, our servitude is based on a mutual, reciprocal, free-flowing exchange of love between Jesus and us.  We choose to be His servants because we love Him.  Jesus chooses to be our Master because He loves us.  It's philos friendship.    


Now read Mark 16:20.  


"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."     


Note the collaborative relationship we are to have with Jesus, as seen in Mark 16:20.  We, the disciple servants, perform the manual work while Jesus, the Master, performs the spiritual work as we labour with Him in implementing God's will.  We have our sphere of responsibility to facilitate while Jesus has His.  Yes, He is still our Master, but a Master who lovingly shares His life and ministry with us as we share our lives and ministry with Him.  This confirms our philos friendship we read about in John 15:15.  It's the free-flowing exchange of lives that in turn forms the foundation of our servant Master relationship that accomplishes God's will.  We are both servants and friends of Jesus.  When you take the time to consider who Jesus is, that's kind of cool, don't you think?            

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