Summary: Jonathan and David show us how to build, strengthen and continue our friendships (Part 3 in "Fresh Lessons From Former Leaders.")


“Jonathan and David - Best Friends”

1 Samuel 20

In yesterday’s West Australian Newspaper Hugh Mackay quotes an Edith Cowan University study which shows the depth of Australian anxiety and insecurity. In the land of the long weekend - - normally know for it’s mateship and easy-going, sports-mad, live for the weekend culture - - - the study showed that although 89% of us trust our own families, only 47% trust our workmates, and a mere 35% trust our neighbours.

I guess it’s not really surprising then, that “Friends” is the one of the most watched sitcoms on Australian TV. If we don’t trust our real friends, then we can trust our virtual friends on TV who we can switch on and off whenever we like! And why wouldn’t you. They’re only in your house when you want them there - - and they’re ALWAYS funny – what a great friendship!

I guess the study shows that true mateship in Australia is in decline. That we have fewer friends and that the friendships we do have are less trusting - more shallow.

Today I want us to look at a biblical model for friendship – and as we do we will see how beneficial true friendships can be for us. In the story of Jonathan and David we are shown how to build, strengthen and continue our friendships.


You’ve heard it said that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Or perhaps you’ve heard the bumper sticker version of that saying. A friend in need is a pain in the .......!

So often it seems that this is the philosophy our society stands on! But if we want to build, strengthen and continue our friendships we must learn to lovingly attend to each other’s needs.

In our passage today Jonathan said to David,

"Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you"

(1 Samuel 20:4)

What an incredible commitment Jonathan had to his friendship with David. Jonathan understood that serving is what friendship is all about.

He said, “Whatever.” Jonathan was prepared to do anything for his friend. He said “Whatever you want me to do.” Jonathan had taken the time to find out David’s desires. And then he said “Ill do it for you.” This is where the rubber hits the road. Jonathan made a commitment to serve David, and he followed through with action. He didn’t just see a need and let someone else take care of it. He was willing and ready to fill that need himself – Jonathan served his friend David.

It reminds me of the sentiment that Bryan Adams expressed in his song “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”

You know it’s true - Everything I do - I do it for you

But someone far more famous than Bryan Adams lived this ideal well before that song was written. See if you can guess who it is .....

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it

(John 14:13-14).

Jesus is the greatest friend any person can have. He once said to his followers,

I no longer call you servants ....... Instead, I have called you friends (John 15:15).

And Jesus, the Believer’s friend, said, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

If we are a friend of Jesus we can ask for anything in his name and he will do it. What does it mean to say, “In my name”? Well, a persons name is related to their character, their reputation or nature and even their will or purposes.

So what Jesus is saying here is that you can ask him for anything that is consistent with his nature, his character and his purposes and he will do it. But you must ask, and when you ask you must leave it entirely up to Jesus to decide what your real needs are. And you must leave it entirely up to Jesus to decide where, when and how he will meet your needs. He knows your needs best and he knows how best to meet them. But you must ask. Jesus said, “You may ask me ...”

What an awesome friend.

Well what does this mean for us? Stop and think about your friendships for a moment. Can you say to your friends, “You need it, I’ll do it?” Or what about the opposite? Can you say, “Whatever I need, I know they will do it?” What kind of friends do you have – are they leaches that suck you dry? Or do they genuinely have your best interests at heart? And what kind of friend are you?

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