John 15:12-16 (New Living Translation)
12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
Friends are important. For as long as we remember, it has been important to have friends. Since we first went to school or played with a neighbor, having someone with whom we could connect has always been important to us. As adults, many of us can count people that we spent our childhood, grade school or college years with as friends. Some may even have one friend that is closer to us than our own family, and this friend we would do anything for; even give our life for them.
This is how close and personal Jesus was with his disciples. He called them his friends, and they shared a love for one another that was closer than if they were brothers. He also told them that a true friend loves so much that he would lay their life down for those he cares for. This was in anticipation of Jesus's work on the cross for them and all of us. A true friend is willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the other person, seeking nothing in return.
In these verses, Jesus tells us about true friendship, and how we can be a true friend of God. It also tells us how we should be friends with one another. When we understand how to truly sacrifice for those we love (and those we don't), then we will truly understand the heart of Jesus Christ.