The Everlasting Joy in Jesus’ Friends

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father (John 15:15—NRSV).

Why did Jesus make known to us through His first disciples everything that He heard from His Heavenly Father? Jesus himself gave the answer in John 15:11, saying, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” Jesus came and taught people how to live joyfully even during struggles that seem impossible to bear. When Jesus gives eternal life to all who believe in Him, He also gives them everlasting joy. Because the presence of Jesus Christ remains within them, His disciples can face this world with joy. Christians remain joyful in this troubled world because they trust in Jesus who abides within them, because they trust the truths He taught in the Bible, and because they receive love, joy, peace, and other fruit from the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus’ followers today, His first disciples obeyed Jesus because they loved Him. As they loved and obeyed their Master, He taught them more until He could call them friends and say to them, “I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” Before Jesus called His disciples His friends, He took three years to teach His disciples everything. Eleven of them responded with obedient love for Jesus, and Jesus made them friends who learned His goals and purposes. Today, Jesus’ followers still teach by word and example, and Jesus chooses new disciples and friends as new fruit on the branches of the vine.

Thinking Further

1. What examples did Jesus say He had given us as His disciples?

2. What commandments did Jesus give us as His disciples?

3. Why did Jesus show and tell us, His disciples, what He did?

4. What did Jesus call those who knew what He was doing? What does Jesus expect from those who know what He is doing?

5. What two names did Jesus use when He spoke of His disciples? What did He mean when He changed what He called them? What are we to Jesus? Why?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.