Rufus Ellis' wonderful sermon "The Religion of Jesus a Divine Friendship"
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. — John XV:15.
AND so we see that the religion of these disciples was a Divine Friendship, with all its blessed privileges and possibilities. What these are it is easy to tell. It would be a waste of time and words to speak of the preciousness of friendship, — that it is the noblest and purest form of love, and that our friend is to us as our own soul. It is plain enough, moreover, that in this great Christian instance we have to do with a friendship of mysterious and exceeding measures which we can only call Divine, the friendship of One who, as those men came gradually to know and feel, and as Christian people have always and everywhere gladly confessed, was the Image of the Invisible God, the First-born of a new creation. Every friend is a gift of God to us. He alone creates sympathies and harmonies, and
fashions this and the other heart alike. And of human friendship it must be confessed that we may seek it in vain, all the more vainly because it only cometh as it listeth. But this best gift, this great love of God in Jesus, being the Fountain-head of all affections, was the free gift of God to all, and only first of all to those whom the Saviour called to be His friends. And as much as may be it depends upon the Divine giving, and as little as may be it depends upon man's receiving; and because it comes to us a fulness of the Divine Life, all the common advantages of friendship become high religious privileges and opportunities, limited and qualified only by the limitations of those who live in that Divine Light and hang upon that Divine Word. Think what it is to have a friend! think what it is to have in that friend a Divine Friend!"