This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Folk and pop singers often write songs about alienation because it produces such raw emotions. Paul Simon captured it well when he sang of building impenetrable walls in his life and becoming a “rock” and an “island,” rejecting love and laughter because “friendship causes pain.”
But the truth that all of us know deep down is that friendship is vitally important for each and every one of us. God Almighty has wired us to care for one another. We long for relationships: to be known, to be loved. We know that even one genuine friend makes us truly rich in this world. We don’t want to be islands.
Yet while we may have true friends who are loyal, sensitive, and honest, we can only find ultimate friendship in Jesus. He alone is the friend who “is the same yesterday today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). His brand of friendship extends far beyond the bounds of human friendship; He knew how to be a true friend even to tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). One of the reasons that some find friendship so difficult is because it demands vulnerability and openness. But Jesus is never in a bad mood, never lets us down, never treats us capriciously. And He wants to be friends with us—with you! As you come to Him in faith, the one through whom all things were created delights to call you His friend. Let that sink in a little.
Every friendship requires effort, and friendship with Jesus is no different! That’s why Jesus tells us, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” When we receive Jesus as a friend, we also accept Him as our King.
Perhaps you have found human relationships to be hurtful or fleeting. Perhaps you are surrounded with friends, or perhaps you cannot count a single one. In any case, here is the most wonderful friend: the one who knows us completely and loves us all the same. With Him we can have the kind of friend that “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Earthly friends may fail or leave us,
One day soothe, the next day grieve us;
But this Friend will ne’er deceive us:
Oh, how He loves! 
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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.