Even the Bible emphasizes the special nature of this relationship. Jonathan and David had a friendship that was defined as a love that was greater than the love they had for women. Jonathan even risked his life to protect David from King Saul, Jonathan’s own father. Jonathan also supported David even though it would mean missing out on being king himself. Solomon also spoke of friends in Proverbs: friend loves at all times (17:17), Don’t forsake your friend (27:10), and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (18:24). Some people even think that Jesus is the friend being spoken of in the last verse.
In John 15 Jesus describes how he is changing the status of their relationship. Beginning in verse 11 he says that he wants them to be full of joy. Then he says that they are to love each other just like he loves them. After that he explains how great his love for them is. The greatest love is to die for your friends and that is what Jesus did for them and for us. He assures them that they are his friends if they will obey him and that he is not calling them servants anymore, but friends.
Most of us have never had a friend who died for us, but we do in Christ. Let’s show our love for him by obeying him and loving each other as he commanded us. Truly Jesus is a friend that is closer than a brother.