John 15:15Posted 01/21/22, by Dan Vis
All this week, we've been looking at the call to service. How central it is to our calling as Christians. What our response to that calling reveals about our heart. How it should shape both our attitudes and expectation in terms of the Christian life.
There's no question about it, cultivating a servant's heart is an important part of the Christian life. But we haven't exhausted the subject yet--just before going to the cross, Jesus made one more important statement we haven't looked at yet. Here it is:
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Here Jesus is highlighting the point, that Christianity is about more than just being a servant. A servant is typically only told what to do, and not given the reason why. They aren't really important, except as a means to getting some job done. There's not much relationship.
Christianity is different. Jesus doesn't call us servants, but friends. And He is perfectly willing to share everything the Father reveals to Him. To explain every aspect of anything we are asked to do. He offers a dialog, a discussion, a conversation. He offers us understanding.
Jesus said something related a few chapters back. Specifically: "if any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be" (John 12:26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.). It may not seem connected at first, but it strikes me, that Jesus is explaining here that the Christian life is a journey we travel with Him. That we must learn to think as He thought if we are to do as He did. Or as this verse puts it, we are to go where He went. Somehow, we must become one with Him. And as the verse continues, "if any many serve me [in this way], him will my Father honour". The emphasis being mine of course.
In other words to live as He would live, do what He would do, go where He would go, we have to know Him. And to know Him means we must communicate. Extensively. We must become real friends, with whom Jesus reveals everything about the Father's will we would want or need to know. We are not mindless servants, but partners. Or to put it differently, Jesus is not looking for drones, but replicants. He wants to reproduce Himself in us, so fully that our natural desires, inclinations, goals, and ambitions begin to align and intertwine naturally with His. Or as I've written about elsewhere, true discipleship is all about multiplication.
Much like that prodigal son we looked at yesterday, it's blessing enough just to serve our heavenly Master. But the prodigal's father was not looking for another servant. He wanted to restore that young man back to his privileged status as a son. And heaven too is not looking merely for new workers--it is looking for new citizens, with all the rights and privileges and honors that go with that.
It's a blessing to be a servant of the Most High, for sure. But how much more that Jesus calls us to be friends--and journey through life together?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 02/03/22|
|I love that phrase Qing, you nailed it perfectly: #HigherCalling. When I reflect on what God has in store for us all through eternity, it's mind boggling. Yes, love, freedom, friendship. It all blends together so incredibly...|
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