Let’s discuss what those relationships, friends and family, look like from the Bible’s perspective.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were family: brother and sisters and Jesus was their friend. John 11:3 tells us that the sisters sent Jesus a message, “he whom you love is ill,” and after He read it told His disciples, “our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep …” The Greek word used in these passages is philon, translated love and friend. It means someone who is dearly loved and their relationship is prized and valued. Philon is an intimate friend, trusted confidant, and conveys a friendship that has been experienced by both parties. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were Jesus’ friends.
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. John 11:5 ESV
God has had other friends as well. Three times Abraham is described as God’s friend (2 Chron. 20:7; Is. 41:8) but this passage thrills me,
… and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” James 2:23 ESV
Moses had a philon relationship with God; Ex. 33:11 tells us that ‘the LORD spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend‘. True intimacy.
What makes a friend? It seems that these two men and the family mentioned earlier had some things in common. First of all, conversation. They undoubtedly shared their concerns, joys, and sadness as situations arose in their lives. No email or texting was available, consequently, their communication was up close and personal. Friends and family have personal contact and spend time together; they know each other.
There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.
Deuteronomy 34:10 NLT
Moses told all Israel:
At the mountain the LORD spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. Deuteronomy 5:4 NLT
God loves to communicate with His people, even you. It wasn’t just Abraham and Moses that set the precedence but Jacob (Gen. 32:30), Gideon (Jud. 6:22), and now that privilege is yours.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
What makes a friend? Love: phileo.
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 NLT
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 NLT
Is it possible to be a Friend of God today? Are you spending quality time with Him communicating in your own way your thoughts and desires? Then you are His friend.
Do you have a friend or family member you need to forgive? Be a true philon, cover them with your love, and pick up your cell.