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Friends in Faith

Devotions

When Jesus began His public ministry, His family was shocked. At one point, when He was preaching to a large crowd in a house, his family members tried to remove Him by force, claiming that He had lost His mind (Mark 3:21). Jesus warned His followers that allegiance to Him would create fault lines in some of our most important relationships.

Jonathan shared a similar experience when he threw his lot in with David. At first, Jonathan wanted to believe that there was still hope that his father could be favorable toward David (vv. 2, 9). But David, who by now has seen the king make several attempts on his life, was understandably skeptical (v. 3). The two formulated a plan that would enable Jonathan to sound out his father.

To seal it, Jonathan entered into a covenant in which David promised to show him “unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness” (v. 14). Jonathan, in turn, asked the Lord to “call David’s enemies to account” (v. 16). Jonathan would have realized that he was speaking of his father, Saul, when he made this promise to his friend. Jonathan also knew that his decision to support David was an implicit renunciation of any claim he might have to succeed Saul as king (v. 31).

Jonathan’s choice was decidedly not political. He and David had “sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord” (v. 42). Theirs was a lifelong commitment based on a common faith in God as much as it was a union of like-minded friends.

>> Have you experienced rejection from friends or family because of your faith? Jesus promised, “. . . no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29–30).

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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