This week i have had several reminders of life-long friendships. This week is the seventy-fifth anniversary of my parents’ marriage. Though they have both now been in heaven for a number of years, the impact of their “lifelong-friendship” continues through the lives of their children, their grandchildren and their great grandchildren. Also, today i had lunch with a friend whose wife suddenly and unexpectedly passed a few weeks ago. The fruit of their life-long friendship will also continue. True friendship lives on. True friendship has purpose. True friendship has lasting impact.
It was a Thursday night, two thousand years ago. Jesus would be arrested in just a matter of hours. The disciples would all abandon Him and scatter before the night was out. At that moment He was the only One who knew what was about to occur, as He and His disciples made their journey across the Kidron Valley from the upper room to the Garden of Gethsemane. Earlier that night, He showed them that He was their Servant as He knelt before them and washed their feet. Then He explained that He was their Savior as He broke the bread and passed it together with the cup representing His body and blood that would be broken and shed. Though the disciples did not realize it, Jesus was sharing His “last words” with them. They would see Him a few more times after He arose from the grave, but this was His last time to pour into them as their Master and Teacher. For three years He had been their Teacher. Earlier He had shown them that He is their Servant. Tomorrow He would demonstrate that He is their Savior. On Sunday He would show them that He is their Risen Lord. But for now, He wanted them to know that they are His friends. Even though they would abandon Him, He still called them His friends. Jesus said, “ 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” (John 15:15-16).