“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Are you a best friend? Not do you have one, but are you one? A best friend is one that is always there, is ready to help, wants to spend time around you, and enriches your life. Perhaps one of the best examples of a best friend is Jonathan, son of King Saul. Jonathan was a unique person. He feared the Lord and was a brave warrior, but most of all, when he came face to face with the man who would replace him, he embraced him into his life. The Bible says that Jonathan knit his soul to David and, as if to demonstrate how much he valued him, he immediately gave David everything he had on him—even his belt (I Samual 18:1, 3-4). Very few people are so invested in the life of another that they'd go so far.
The depth of Jonathan's love for David is enough to shame even the most soft-hearted of Christians. Jonathan cared about David's success, even more than his own. When King Saul wanted to kill David, Jonathan helped David escape. When Jonathan came to recognize that David was destined to become king of Israel, he supported him, even though the throne was rightfully his. Jonathan was willing to humble himself so someone else could benefit from his own royalty. That doesn't sound so different from a particular carpenter from Galilee.
Strictly speaking, there was no advantage for Jesus to sacrifice Himself for us. He was the Son of the Most High King, yet He was willing to give up His privilege so that we could enjoy the royalty that He rightfully deserved. Jesus understood how much it would cost to give us royalty, yet He still chose to lift us up. He chose to be the very best of friends for us, so that we could decide to be friends with Him. It is with this passion for others that Jesus instructed His disciples, and us, to love one another.
He said in John 15:12-14, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Being a best friend isn't always easy—in fact, it implies to be friends even in the face of adversity—but Jesus didn't ask us to live an easy life. He asked us to live a life of compassion for others and of genuine care for their betterment. We do not all have friends like Jonathan, but we can all be one for others.