That’s What Friends are For

That’s What Friends are For April 6, 2024

One of my very favorite verses in all of Scripture is the following: “15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  Can you imagine being called Jesus’ friend by Jesus himself?  Sometimes that just blows my mind.   And notice the basis of Jesus doing so— because he has shared EVERYTHING he has learned from the Father with us.  Really?  I suppose this means everything we needed to know to be intimate with Jesus. After all he taught us to pray like he prayed, addressing God as ABBA.

Over the years, I have been very thankful to have cultivated long standing friendships, with some of my college friends– Rick Sanders, Don Tyndall, Richard Haney, Bill Brafford, Scott Sunquist and their wives.  But also with some of my NT colleagues like the Craigs— Keener, Blomberg, Evans, Koester, or Tom Wright, or Scot McKnight, and my seminary colleagues like Bill Arnold, Lawson Stone, David Bauer, RuthAnne Reese, Fred Long and so many more. And there are some of my former doctoral students like Jason Myers, Michael Halcomb, Joy Vaughan, Judi Odor, and some current ones two.

But today I’m celebrating my friendship with my wonderful editor at Cambridge— Beatrice Riehl seen below in a picture taken last week in NY at Serafina, a fine Italian restaurant. And also my Jesuit friend Jim Martin seen in his office at America Media.  It’s always a blessing to make new friends and visit with old ones.  And the older you get the more you appreciate your friends.  There is of course some irony about Jesus calling his disciples friends, just before they were to deny, betray and abandon him as he went to the cross.  I hope and pray I would never do that to Jesus or any of my friends.   Here are my two pictures from the time in Big Apple.

I’ve worked with Beatrice for many many years now as the General Editor of the New Cambridge Commentary Series.  And Jim is a more recent friend, who gave a nice endorsement to my recent book, Sola Scriptura.  

Another Biblical friendship well worth learning from and emulating is the friendship of David and Jonathan.  But that’s a story for another day.


Browse Our Archives