The pulpit series on the Upper Room Discourse found in John 13 to 17 has been an intense and inspiring learning experience for me. Over the past seven weeks, we have given careful attention to the teaching of Jesus. In the short time with his disciples, Jesus revealed the Father’s heart and intentions for them. As Jesus confides in the disciples, we discover the vital truth about the essence of our relationship with God. The life of discipleship is initiated by the call of Jesus, transformed by the Father’s love, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. In befriending Jesus, we experience personal reorientation, redemption, reconciliation, restoration and renewal.

Let us review what we have learned about befriending Jesus:

  • Jesus’ love is the hallmark and benchmark of the disciples’ love for one another. We are called to love as Jesus loves.
  • Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are drawn into communion with God through Jesus.
  • Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to all those who belong to Him. We are empowered to live for Jesus by the Spirit.
  • Jesus is the True Vine and we are the branches. We abide in Jesus and simply live as altogether Christians because Jesus lives in us.
  • Jesus calls us His friends. He sets us apart to produce lasting fruit through intimacy with the Father and deeper love for one another.
  • Jesus has chosen us out of the world to belong to Him. We are directed to live by the Spirit as agents of grace and love in the world.
  • Jesus assures us joy and peace in Him because He has overcome the world by His death, resurrection and ascension.

Therefore, befriending Jesus draws us into the mystery of belonging to Jesus. We are no longer strangers to the love of Jesus. In reality, we are led into the indispensable and irresistible union with God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We are truly blessed to be called friends of Jesus. The question remains: are you a friend of Jesus? If not, may I invite you to respond to His love for you by giving your life to Jesus. Through faith in Jesus and by obedience to His call, we are given the privilege of befriending Jesus.