Friendship and Brotherly Love

Some people are more demonstrative in their brotherly friendship and love than others. So, I thought it would be good to look at what the Bible says about this subject. When I think of showing emotion demonstratively, I think of John. So let’s start with John.

Proverbs 27: 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

We start with this verse from Proverbs because it was from Proverbs that this study originated.

Notice that true friends are obligated to wound one another. This reminds me that love is more than an emotion. Friendship/brotherly love is also a commitment to one another’s welfare in the whole person.

John 13: 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

Most commentators agree that the one whom Jesus loved passages refer to the Apostle John.

The context of the is passage is when Jesus announced that He would be betrayed. What does this passage reveal about the Apostle John?

John 20:26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

Jesus entrusted His mother with John. What does this say about Jesus relationship with John.?

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

What interests me is that Peter and John are hanging out together. Two very different personalities serving Jesus and finding brotherly friendship with one-another.

John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.

It was John who leaned on Jesus bosom but it was Peter who impulsively swam towards Jesus. What does this say about the relationship of John and Peter towards Jesus? How were they different?

John 21:20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?”

Why did Peter mention John? Why was it John that was following closely behind Peter and Jesus?

1 Jn 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

The disciples spent three years with Jesus. They experienced close relationship with Him. Notice, John, the one who leaned on Jesus chest, mentions that the disciples even touched Jesus. Why did John emphasis this close relationship with Jesus?

1 Jn 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

If we get close to Jesus with whom can we have fellowship?

1 Jn 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Fellowship with Jesus and true brother love/friendship with one another is based upon walking in the light, confessing and forsaking our sin and receiving our Savior’s cleansing. There is no true brotherly love based upon sinful living. But by walking in the light towards the brilliant light of Jesus, brothers in the Lord can enjoy soul satisfying brotherly love.

1 Jn 1:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

How do we first of all love one another?

 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update.