Listen Now. We will now be together with the every day studying of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

ENGAGED: The Call to Be Disciples

Go, subsequently and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the title of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, instructing them to observe all that I’ve commanded you.  Matthew 28:19-20

A Call to Be a Friend

Jesus stated, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command you.  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.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.”  John 15: 13-16


Good morning Prayer Team!

The first name of Jesus wasn’t to go and do unbelievable issues, and even to do issues.  It was merely to be with Him.  The name to be a disciple is a name to friendship with Him.

Calling Jesus a “friend” is one thing that could be very international to most Orthodox Christians.  The phrase “friend” appears to have too informal of a context.  We “hang out” with our buddies.  We “cut up” and snicker with our buddies. 

If we imagine that Jesus is asking us in the similar manner that He known as the first disciples, His first name to them was one of friendship.  He didn’t name them and say “Hey, come and worship Me.”  Or “Come and be My servant.”  Yes, He known as His disciples “friends.” 

This would appear to make sense.  Let’s speak about constructing a relationship with anybody.  The very first thing we do in any relationship is respect somebody, in order that they really feel secure round us.  The second factor is to make investments time, to talk, to discover issues we share in frequent.  After time and communication comes the capability to be susceptible, after which comes belief and then love grows from that.  We don’t inform somebody we don’t know or have simply met that we love them.  We don’t present vulnerability to folks we don’t know. 

For those that suppose it’s too informal to name Christ a pal, there’s an “ekphonesis” (a liturgical phrase that particularly praises God) that’s utilized in a number of providers that reads in Greek “Oti agathos and FILANTHROPOS Theos Iparhis,” which interprets “For You are a very good (agathos) and ‘Friend of man’ (filanthropos) God.”  Obviously, this isn’t precisely what our translations say.  They normally say “For You are a good and loving God” or “For You are a merciful and loving God.”  However, the phrase “filanthropos” is made up of two Greek phrases “filos” which suggests “friend,” and “anthropos” which suggests both “man” or “mankind.”  If we name Christ a “filanthropos” in Greek, it’s completely applicable to name Him a “friend of man”, a pal, in English. 

In John 15, at present’s verses, Jesus calls His disciples “My buddies.” (John 15:13)  This discourse was given at (or after) the Last Supper, earlier than Jesus was arrested and crucified.  He continues on “I’ve known as you buddies.”  (15:15)  And says “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (15:16)  Going again to the final reflections, we lack the creativeness to put ourselves at the desk with Christ, to hear these phrases being spoken to us, simply as they had been spoken to the Disciples almost 2,000 years in the past. 

Jesus then tells them that the best expression of friendship is to die for a pal.  In John 15:13, He says “Greater love had no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Jesus then went and did that very factor.  He laid down His life for His disciples, His buddies. 

Jesus doesn’t ask us to do one thing that He was unwilling to do.  He asks us to be His buddies, not His topics.  He laid down His life for us, His buddies.  And He asks that we additionally put Him first in our lives, to lay down our lives for Him. 

Going again to being buddies, we love to spend time with our buddies.  We search for additional alternatives to be collectively.  We ought to deal with God with that very same pleasure with which we deal with our buddies, cherishing our time collectively, in search of additional alternatives to be collectively in prayer and worship. 

Lord, You have granted us to supply these frequent prayers in unison and have promised that when two or three agree in Your title, You will grant their requests.  Fulfill now, O Lord, the petitions of Your servants as could also be of profit to them, granting us in the current age the information of Your reality, and in the age to come everlasting life.  For You, o God are good and love mankind (filanthropos), and to You we provide glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and eternally and to the ages of ages.  Amen.  (Prayer of the Third Antiphon of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Trans. by Holy Cross Seminary Press, 2015).

God will not be solely our Maker and Lord.  He can be mankind’s greatest pal.


+Fr. Stavros


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With Roger Hunt offering at present’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

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The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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