At a certain point in His life, Jesus told His disciples, “From now on, I’ll call you friends and let you know everything I’m doing.” That’s pretty significant.
Over the years I’ve continually pursued friendships. What I’ve sought is someone with whom I could simply share life, knowing that there are no areas off limits and our love for one another would be intact on the other side of anything we might face together. I suspect that most everyone wants something similar.
Jesus Himself seems to be on the same track. He uses the word “friend” and talks of being transparent all in the same breath. He leaves the ninety-nine to care for the one, has promised He’d never forsake us, knows the number of hairs on our heads, is eager to restore the bond each time we fall short, etc.
No wonder I’m so attracted to the Son of God, and to those humans who reflect His character in our relationships. They call me friend. And they truly fulfill the title.
One of my favorite quotes of Henri Nouwen is “dare to love and be a real friend”. I often pondered as to why he felt the need to use that particular adjective to describe “friend”, and what does it truly mean to be a “real” friend.
I think you captured the meaning quite nicely with “those humans who reflect His character in our relationships”. Nothing more real than that!