In John 15:13 Jesus said
“Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
In the Message Eugene H. Peterson puts it this way:
This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.
In Strong’s Concordance the Greek word used here is philos and it’s defined as:
“a friend, an associate or a companion”.
Strong’s goes on to add this:
“one of the bridegroom's friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials”.
This word is used 29 times in the New Testament and all 29 times it’s translated “friend”.
So, friend here is a close friend a trusted friend, someone who might be the best man at your wedding or at least a groomsman. Someone you want with you, standing beside you on one of the most important days of your life.
The New American Heritage Dictionary points out in it’s Word History that:
A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin amcus “friend” and amo “I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend” and phileo “I love.”
So there is a clear historical connection between friendship and love.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines friends as:
One attached to another by affection or esteem, an acquaintance.
Here are some interesting quotes about friendship
"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." G. Randolf
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." Walter Winchell
"A true friend is someone who is there for you when they would rather be someplace else." Len Wein
"The road to a friend's house is never long." Danish proverb
A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway. Fr. Jerome Cummings
Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. Jewish Saying
"The only way to have a friend is to be one." Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. Aristotle
The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. Abraham Lincoln
"Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil." Baltasar Gracian (1647)
“The best mirror is an old friend." George Herbert
A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. Anonymous
Plant a seed of friendship; reap a bouquet of happiness. Lois L. Kaufman
A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17
"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives." Euripides (408 B.C.)
My friend is he who will tell me my faults in private." Solomon Ibn Gabirol
"There can be no Friendship where there is no Freedom." William Penn
"A friend is a present you give yourself." Robert Louis Stevenson
An honest answer is the sign of true friendship. Proverbs 24:26
A single rose can be my garden, a single friend, my world. Leo Buscaglia
Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty. Sicilian Proverb
The language of friendship is not words but meanings. Henry David Thoreau
A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success! Doug Larson
Most people walk in and out of you life. But only friends leave footprints in your heart.
Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together" Woodrow Wilson
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." Mother Teresa
"No man is useless while he has a friend." Robert Louis Stevenson
"A true friend stabs you in the front." Oscar Wilde
Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing." Benjamin Franklin
"Promise you won't forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave." Winnie the Pooh
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship Saint Thomas Aquinas
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Oprah Winfrey
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." C.S. Lewis
Tonight I was fortunate enough to spend the evening with some of my closest friends. These are the people I could call in the middle of the night and tell them I need help and they would be there as fast as humanly possible. Not until they arrived would they ask what the need was.
These are the people who would take a bullet for me and I would take one for them
These are the people I want to be with when I’m at my best or my worst – they’ll tell me the truth either way
These are the people I laugh with and the people I cry with.
These are the people who have seen all my strength’s and all my weakness and love me any way
These are the people I can be real with and they can be genuine with me.
These people are my friends and I’m free to be me with them.
These are my friends: Rich & Lynda ~ Duane & Dawn and I would lay down my life for them!
I’ve never felt so free!
Copyright © Tom Zawacki 2006