In John’s Gospel, Jesus says that he no longer calls us servants: he now calls us friends. Without a good understanding of the old testament, we can miss the real depth of what he is trying to say to us.

During the time of King David, there were various official roles in the kingdom.One of the key roles was the ‘friend of the king’. This man had complete access to the king at any time of the day. He was the most trusted supporter of the king and as a result, he had an intimate insight into the thoughts and desires of the king. The friend of the king knew the king so well that he didn’t need to receive instructions; he just knew what the king wanted because their relationship was so close. So when Jesus says that he now calls us friends, he is saying that every one of his followers now fills that role in his kingdom.

We are being invited into an intimate relationship in which we have complete access to Jesus. But we are also being called into a life-long vocation in which we seek to know the heart of Jesus so deeply that we just naturally know what the will of God is and we know how to serve him without being told what to do. The church will not be fully alive until each and every Christian takes up this beautiful calling.