John 15:17 “Henceforth I do not call you servants; for the servant does not know what his Lord does:  but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
The context of this statement is important.  This was Jesus speaking to His eleven disciples in the upper room.  The betrayer was now gone and only the true followers remained.  In a few hours He would be taken away by the Jewish leaders.  Look at the word henceforth.  This means from this point into the future, He said, “I will call you friends.”
Scripture teaches that a person without Christ is an enemy of God.  When you come to Jesus, and accept His atoning work and turn to Him in faith, your position changes.  You are adopted into His family.  God then becomes your Father, and you are no longer enemies.  This is a blood relationship that, once sealed, can never be undone.
Jesus’ last words to His disciples were, “come close to me and be My friend.”  This is not some sentimental statement, not a feel good moment.  Not in any way.  Jesus wanted these men to know He loved them, but He also wanted them to know Him.  It is not enough to know of Him or even to know about Him.  He wants you to know Him in the same way He knew the Father, a knowing that comes from prayer.  He was speaking to the Father, listening to the Father, He was praying.  In order to be the person He wants you to be you must be near Him and listen to Him.
Jesus was like the Father, in one sense, because He was always near His Father in prayer.  In the same way, if you want to be like Jesus, you must walk and live in a way that you are always near Him and near His Spirit.
If you will come near to Him, He will be your friend.
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