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What Does The Bible Say About Friendship?
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What Does the Bible Say About Friendship?

I live in Argentina. A few days ago I was having coffee with my wife. We love to have a cup of coffee together. My mom who lives close was watching my two daughters so that we could have a date together (with our four month old baby). It was friend's day. What? Yeah.. that's right. Friend's day. In Argentina, we have a day once a year (July 20th) that is called friend's day. It is day where friends hang out to celebrate and give each other gifts in some cases. We discussed how friendhsip is different in Argentina than it is in the US.

As we talked about what a friend is, I started thinking about what the Bible has to say about this topic. I believe that when the Bible is interpreted properly what is says applies to any culture and it applies for any time. I have been reading and studying this topic and out of personal interest will continue to do so. I would like to share with you a little about this passage and three initial insights from it that relate to friendship.

The Bible passage is in John 15:12-15. The time is near Jesus' death. He is with his disciples and he calls them 'friends' And he gives a definition of friendship I believe. He does it indirectly by way of contrast. He says that he does not call them servants and the reason He gives for this is that a servant does not know the master's business. In other words there is a relationship of authority but there is not a relationship of intimacy between a master and a servant.

He goes on to say that He has called them friends and He gives the reason. He has made known everything that He has learned from the Father. So what do we learn about friendship from this passage:

  • With someone you call a friend you can be transparent. You don't hold back. You open the curtain and show your friend who you really are. This is what Jesus did with his disciples whom he called friends.
  • We're not Jesus and we have a lot we would probably wish to hide about ourselves. And yet because Jesus has accepted us as we are if we have trusted in His offer of forgiveness than we can be free to open our lives to others and show them whom we really are.
  • We live in an era of facebook friends and social media. People are connected constantly. In the midst of all this, do we have true friends? With whom do we share everything, the real me. Christ did this with his friends. He offers His friendship to us and frees us to do the same with others.


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