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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 15 - Verse 15

Verse 15. I call you not servants. This had been the common title by which he addressed them (Mt 10:24,25; Joh 12:26; 13:13); but he had also before this, on one occasion, called them friends (Lu 12:4), and on one occasion after this he called them servants, Joh 15:20. He here means that the ordinary title by which he would henceforth address them would be that of friends.

The servant knoweth not, &c. He receives the command of his master without knowing the reason why this or that thing is ordered. It is one of the conditions of slavery not to be let into the counsels and plans of the master. It is the privilege of friendship to be made acquainted with the plans, wishes, and wants of the friend. This instance of friendship Jesus had given them by making them acquainted with the reasons why he was about to leave them, and with his secret wishes in regard to them. As he had given them this proof of friendship, it was proper that he should not withhold from them the title of friends.

His lord. His master.

I have called you friends. I have given you the name of friends. He does not mean that the usual appellation which he had given them had been than of friends, but that such was the title which he had now given them.

For all things, &c. The reason why he called them friends was that he had now treated them as friends. He had opened to them his mind; made known his plans; acquainted them with the design of his coming, his death, his resurrection, and ascension; and, having thus given them the clearest proof of friendship, it was proper that he should give them the name.

That I have heard, &c. Jesus frequently represents himself as commissioned or sent by God to accomplish an important work, and as being instructed by him in regard to the nature of that work. See Barnes "Joh 5:30".

By what he had heard of the Father, he doubtless refers to the design of God in his coming and his death. This he had made known to them.

{p} "friends" Jas 2:23

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