Soldiers who have fought together will tell you that the relational bond they share with their fellow soldiers is incredibly strong. In fact, some veterans report that the friendships they share with fellow veterans, although different in character, are as important to them as the relationship they have with their spouse. This doesn’t minimize the importance of marriage, but points to the depth of friendships forged in the crucible of sacrifice.

This reflects the fullness of Jonathan and David’s friendship. They were fast friends who fought alongside one another on behalf of Israel. Because of this, their bond was unbreakable. When it became clear to Jonathan that his father wanted to kill David (1 Samuel 20:30-31), he risked his own life to protect his friend (1 Samuel 20:32-33).

This is all the more remarkable when one remembers that Jonathan was the heir to the throne of Israel, a position that was threatened by David’s rapid ascension (1 Samuel 20:30). Still, nothing could break Jonathan’s loyalty to his friend, not even the thought of losing the throne, because their friendship had been made even stronger by the fire of adversity.

Believers in Jesus share a powerful, loving friendship with Jesus, as He declared in John 15:15. Similar to the relationship between Jonathan and David, this is an unbreakable friendship that has been refined through hardship and sacrifice (Romans 3:25), so perfectly exemplified by Jesus’ death on the cross. So when we call Jesus our “friend,” this doesn’t mean someone we simply hang out with. No, as seen in the friendship between Jonathan and David, Jesus is a friend who gave His life for our own—One who will never leave our side.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 12:22-50