The Lord Jesus proved His love for us as He paid our sin debt by His death, burial, and resurrection. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Christ demonstrates His own friendship by His compassion. Christ is characterized by compassion. When He saw the people scattered as sheep without a shepherd, He was moved with compassion. He exemplifies compassion. He is the embodiment of compassion.
We can discuss principles of friendship as long as we wish, but unless we are people of compassion, we cannot be true friends. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. I John 3:16-18 In other words, if someone does not have compassion, how could anyone possibly say, “This person has the love of God”?
Our love and compassion must be in deed and in truth. Are you a person of compassion? Is your home a place of compassion? Do you have true friendships? Friendship is demonstrated by compassion.
In God’s Word we find a description of true love and compassion. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
I Corinthians 13
The Lord teaches that friendship and compassion are inseparable. It is possible for one human being to give himself to another with nothing to gain and no self-interest to serve. It is the hope of the human heart to develop true friends.