The Upper Room Discourse 34

The Upper Room Discourse 34 Rabbi Michael Weiner

John 15:15 I am no longer calling you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. Now I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Last time, we discussed the blessings and benefits of being a friend of God, Yedidiya in Hebrew. Today, we go further, as Yeshua makes a clear distinction between servants and friends. Picture an evening at home, God’s home. Imagine the difference between the invited friends and those serving them as hired staff. One group, the invited friends, are enjoying fellowship and being served by the servants who are looking after their needs.

Yeshua, Himself, is the first among many brothers. Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Yeshua also calls Himself the “Good Shepherd.” John 10:12-14 The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep … I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me.

The distinction is important. Being in the family, or a friend of the family, is very different from being a servant. Being invited into covenant relationship has benefits, and the chief benefit (as Yeshua points out at the end of our subject verse) is that friends are “in the know” while servants are not.

John 15:15b … the servant does not know what his master is doing … everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (friends).

Of course, we all recognize our dual role. We are both children of God, and at the same time we serve the Lord. Family knows what is going on in the family. A servant only does what he/she is told to do. So we serve God from a position of knowing.

The name Father means decider. The family listens to (obeys) the Father. That is especially true in the quintessential family, the family of God. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. God has simplified our lives. We only need to listen to the “One” Who is the true and living God. God has opened His arms and brought us into His circle of friends. That’s good news, if we receive it.