Jonathan loved David as himself insomuch that their souls were knit together (1 Sam. 18:1 cf; 20:17). David reciprocated in his affection for Jonathan (2 Sam 1:25-27). Christians should also be knit together in love (Col. 2:1-3). Jesus gave every Christian a new commandment to love one another even as he loved us and gave himself for us (Jn 13:34 f; Eph 5:25). We are taught of God to love one another (1 Thess 4:9). The noble sons of Jesse and King Saul foreshadow the characteristics of Christian love and brotherly affection.
The hearts of David and Jonathan were knit together by covenant (1 Sam. 18:1-3 cf; 20:8-9; 20:12-17; 23:15-18). Many would violate the covenant of marriage (Prov. 2:16-17 f; Mal. 2:13-16). Others would violate the covenant of friendship (Prov. 27:6, 9-10 cf; 17:17; 18:24). Let us be loyal to God (Hos. 6:4-6) and to one another (Prov. 21:21).
The hearts of Jonathan and David were knit together by courage. David manifested great courage in confronting Goliath (1 Sam. 17:31-49). Jonathan fearlessly challenged the Philistine horde (1 Sam. 13:1-4 cf; 14:1-5). Let Christians be courageous in defense of the truth (the gospel of our salvation) (Josh. 1:5-9 ff; Acts 4:8-18; Eph 1:13; Phil. 1:12-18).
The hearts of Jonathan and David were knit together by conviction. When King Saul sought David’s life, Jonathan spoke well of David, seeking to reason with his father and dissuade him from shameful action (1 Sam. 19:1-7 cf; 20:30-34). Let Christians manifest conviction, standing up for what is right (2 Tim. 1:6-12), and standing beside those who faithfully serve the Lord (2 Tim. 1:16-18).
The hearts of Jonathan and David were knit together by compassion. Separated because of Saul’s malignant hatred, David and Jonathan kissed each other and wept together (1 Sam. 20:35-42). David’s requiem for the fallen king and his son is an unforgettable expression of sympathetic grief (2 Sam. 1:17-27). Let Christians manifest loving compassion toward one another (Phil. 2:1-4 f; Col. 3:12-14).
Conclusion: Unity among brethren is an unparalleled blessing (Psa 133:1-3 f; Eph 4:3,13). However, friendship is no foil for error (Deut. 13:6-11). True friendship respects truth (Jn 15:12-15). No lie is of the truth (1 Jn 2:21). Christians are knit together as we conform to God’s pattern and speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:11-16). Christians are knit together in their obedience to the gospel (1 Cor 2:2), in their continuance to the doctrine of Christ (Acts 2:42 f; 2 Jn 9), and their faithfulness and endurance to the end (Matt 10:22 f; Rev 2:10). As one year ends and another begins, let brotherly love continue (Heb 13:1).