The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
In John 15:12-17 Jesus said, This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.
People with mutual bonds of affections are called friends. God’s friendship with us is special because he befriended us by making a way for us to be saved in every way a person needs to be saved. Jesus invites us to be his friend by simply following one particular order... love.
It’s not irrational for Jesus to have a stipulation for friendship either. People do it all the time. We make friends all the time with people we share ideology with. I do not approve of abortion or modern irrational feminism, therefore, I do not form friendships with people who live by that kind of ideology. People who disagree on essential matters are not known as friends. So, if we don’t want to love others, we don’t want to be friends with Jesus.
Why is love his requirement for friendship anyway?
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. (1 John 4:9-12)
God loved us first. He sent the invitation out for us to be friends with him – not the other way around. Since I received love from him in this way, it is logical for him to expect me to extend love to others. And it is this mutual bond of God’s love that makes us friends.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I am so glad that you know me and that you invited me to be your friend. I know full well what it feels like to be left out and un-friended, so I am especially thankful that friendship with you exists by your never failing & never ending love not mine. Thank you for showering me with love and friendship, joy and peace, wisdom and insight and, most of all, knowing that I am never ever alone. You are so good to me, and I love you very much and pray in your name, amen.