Yesterday's scripture was about the vine and the branches. Its really deep and meaningful how we must bear fruit and the only way to do so is to remain in Christ and Christ will remain in us. The line that really stood out for me is where Jesus says:
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)
The bible commentary mentions how this can also be interpreted as "for those whom one loves." This scripture really touches my heart especially when I think of those whom I love in my life. Specifically when I think of friendship I believe its something very special and unique aside from the family we are born into. To me, friendship is the fruit that we bear throughout our lives. We encounter people everyday but there are only a few who really stick around and we build confidence and loyalty with. To be open to friendship is to be open to love and share our lives with one another. In many ways I feel that Jesus talks to us about the vine and the branches as a parable about friendship. Sometimes people come into our lives who do not bear fruit in our lives and may not be good for us so the friendship dwindles away. The scripture says:
"He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does, He prunes so that it bears more fruit. (John 15:2)
Those He prunes are of course those friendships we've been able to cultivate for a long time, through thick and thin, our love is always available to one another even from afar. The bible commentary also talks about how the words for love are related to the Greek agapao (agape). It also mentions the word philos. I have looked both of these up and the connection to scripture is very powerful we often go through different periods of connections with others and some friendships will evolve into a higher form of love while others will eventually dwindle away which takes us back to the message of the vine and the branches.
BOTTOM LINE: To be able to call someone a friend should not be taken lightly. Jesus Christ gave up His life for us-He is the prime example of love and friendship. One of his greatest commandments in John 15:12 is to "love one another as I love you."
There are many stories in the bible on how Jesus valued friendship, some are His friendship with Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary (John 11), and the washing of the disciples feet (John 13).