After he had been with them a great while, Jesus told his closest disciples that they were prepared to do bigger things. "I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master's business," Jesus said. "Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15).
No longer are they mere servants. Now they are part of the kingdom. They know what Jesus knows. They can do what he does. They are ready to continue his work, for he has taught them all he has learned from the Father.
Jesus' choice of words is interesting. From this time forward, he will call them friends. After being together for more than two years, a spiritual bond has formed among all of them. They have become more than companions and followers. They are individuals who have been joined together by God for one body and purpose.
Think about what it means to be called a friend of Jesus. What an honor and a privilege. It is not something we truly deserve. But that is what friendship is all about: being loved, respected, and protected without having to earn it or do anything for it. Quite simply, it is the grace of friendship from our Savior.