Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 2 Chronicles 2:7
But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend Isaiah 41:8
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. James 2:23
The bible tells us in three ocasions that Abraham was considered a friend of God. But I often wondered what where the qualities that made him a Friend of God? How can we follow Abraham’s example on being a true Friend? Well Jesus tells the answer to these questions.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this,that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:13-17
Here in this passage Jesus said that one of his comands is to lay down our lifes for our friends thus loving each other. In another passage Jesus is clearer on what the commandments are:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
So the requirements to becoming a friend of Jesus is to obey His commandments and the commandments are #1 is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Then commandment #2 is to love your neighbor as yourself. We see Abraham obeying this commandments. He loved God more than anything and he also loved his neighbors as himself.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:2-12
This just an amazing prove of how much Abraham loved God that he was going to lay down his very own sons life to sacrifice. And if you know anything about the story of Abraham and Isaac, we know that Isaac was the son of promise. Sarah Abraham’s wife was sterile and not able to have children and Isaac was the long awaited child that was born in their old age. Abraham must’ve loved Isaac above himself and above Sarah for that reason God asked for Isaac. But Abraham proved that he did not loved his son Isaac above God, since he was willing to give him up. This is how Abraham fulfills commandment #1.
Abraham also showed that he loved his neighbor as himself when he advocated for Sodom and Gomorrah. God was fed up with the sin in Sodom and Gomorrah and was about to destroy it, but when he tells Abraham what he is about to do Abraham tries to negotiate with God to not destroy it. In Genesis 18:16-33 we find the whole story.
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Abraham starts with fifty and he comes back several times until he gets down to 10 righteous. Unfortunatly he does not find any righteous man and the city gets destroyed. But Abraham tried he took his time to try to save them.
Now do we obey Jesus commands to Love him with all our heart, souls and minds? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? Are we willing to lay down our lifes for our friends? If the answer is yes to these question than you are a FRIEND.