As a child, one of the most important things for me was my friendship with Jesus. Today’s verse speaks about something greater than friendship. It’s important that we remember both that Jesus is our friend, but also remember too, that we have something greater than friendship with Him.
First, let us look at this friendship. It is true. We are God’s friend. The Bible says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15 ESV). We also read, “And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God” (James 2:23 NLT). This friendship made it easy for me to approach God as a child. When I think back on this period of my life, I understand what it means for a person to have a “childlike faith.” I poured out my prayers. I believed. I knew that He was in control of everything.
However, this friendship with God can also cause us to overlook the part of our relationship with God that is greater than friendship. Romans 5:10 says, “So if while we were still enemies, God fully reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son, then something greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, and because we share in His resurrection life, how much more we will be rescued from sin’s dominion!” (Romans 5:10 TPT). We are so blessed to be a friend of Jesus. Even so, Jesus is much more than our friend. If we only recognize the friendship, we miss the rest.
Today’s verse focuses on Jesus being our Redeemer, the One who paid the penalty that we could not pay, so that we could have eternal life in Him with no guilt or shame. We are redeemed. Not only is Jesus our Redeemer, He is Lord of All. It is important that we live this out daily. The NASB translates Philippians 2:9-11 this way: “For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus is above all.
We are so blessed that we have a friend in Jesus. As we draw near to Him today, let us not neglect remembering that He is not only our friend, but He also is both Redeemer and Lord of All. It is important to declare our need for Jesus — to be reminded of our dependence on Him alone. We cannot redeem ourselves. He is our Redeemer. If we neglect this truth, we respond with pride. He alone paid the price once for all. May we respond with thanksgiving. As well, He is our Lord. He is above all and He alone is worthy of our worship. If we neglect this truth, we respond with idolatry. May we respond with praise each day anew. Let us never lose sight on this great truth. He alone redeems. He alone is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Amen!