The Love of Jonathan, and the Love of Jesus
2 Samuel 1:26
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant have you been to me: your love to me was wonderful…


1. Jonathan's was a singular love, because of the pureness of its origin. Jonathan loved David out of great admiration of him. When he saw him come back with the head of Goliath in his hand, he loved him as a soldier loves a soldier, as a brave man loves another brave man.

2. Jonathan's love proved also to be most intense. It is said that "he loved him as his own soul." He would at any moment have sacrificed his life to preserve the life of David; in fact, I do not doubt that Jonathan thought David's life much more valuable than his own, and that he was quite willing to expose himself to peril that David might be preserved. Jonathan's was a very intense love.

3. Jonathan's love was very disinterested. David had been anointed king by Samuel. The kingdom was to be taken from the house of Saul, and given to the house of David. That friendship, in which a man can set himself on one side for the sake of another, is not yet so common that we can hawk it in the streets.

4. Jonathan's love was a love which bore up under all opposition.

5. And this love was very active, for you know how he pleaded for David with his father. He went out into the field, and took counsel with David. He arranged plans and methods for David's preservation; and, on one occasion, we find that he "went to David in the wood, and strengthened his hand in God." Yes, his love was not a matter of mere talk, it was real, practical, active; it was a love which never failed.

II. THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO ME. "Thy love to me was wonderful."

1. I think that we feel this most when we see our Saviour die. Sit down at the foot of the cross, and look up. Behold that sacred brow with the thorny wreath upon it. See those blessed eyes, red with weeping; mark those nailed hands, that once scattered benedictions; gaze on those bleeding feet, which hurried on errands of mercy; watch till you can peer into that gaping side, how deep the gash, how wide the breach, see how the water and the blood come streaming forth! This is the Lord of life and glory, who this dies amid derision and scorn, suffering the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God.

2. I think, also, that we sometimes feel the greatest love to dear friends when we find others doing them despite. When David found that Jonathan's body had been dishonoured by the Philistines, that they had taken away the bodies of King Saul and his sons to hang them on the wall of Beth-shan, then was he sorely troubled, and his love broke forth again in sighs, and cries, and tears. And I must say to-night that I love my Lord all the more because of the insults others heap upon him.

3. Now let me briefly tell the story of that love. Part of its wonder lies in the object of this love, that it should be bestowed upon me: "Thy love to me." Then throw the emphasis on the first word, "Thy love to me," and you have another part of the wonder, that is, in the Giver of this love. Now begin, if you can, to consider the commencement of this love. When did God begin to love His own elect? There was a time when He began to make the worlds; but from eternity He has loved His chosen. Before the first flash of light illumined the primeval darkness God loved His people. Christ's love, then, is wonderful in its beginning; and when it began to work on me it was still wonderful, for what did I do? I refused it. And when Christ's love led Him to come here, and take our nature, was it not wonderful? He reigned enthroned in heaven; seraphim and cherubim gladly did his bidding. He was God, and yet he came down from yonder royal palace to that stable at Bethlehem, and to the manger where the horned oxen fed. 'Tis He! 'Tis He! But as George Herbert reminds us, He hath unrobed Himself, and hung His azure mantle on the sky, and all his rings upon the stars; and there He lies, a babe in swaddling bands, taking human nature into union with His divinity because He loved us. The brotherly and condescending character of this love. Times have been when we, who love Christ's name, have been in trouble, and He has been very near to us. Times have been when we have been misrepresented, and abused, and He has smiled, oh, so sweetly on us! Times have been when bodily pain has made us very faint, and He has put underneath us the everlasting arms. Think, also, of the comforting and thoughtful provisions of Christ's love. Our lives are not all to our credit; there have been sad moments, when unbelief has crept in on the back of thoughtlessness, and you have been almost a sceptic. There have been evil moments when sin has insinuated itself into the imagination, and you have almost done that which would have been your ruin. Have there not been times in your life when you have been smitten, and if there had not been some One to uphold you, you would have fallen, almost unconsciously fallen, and there have lain down to die? But, oh, how Jesus has watched over you, and cared for you! But the love of Christ to us is most of all wonderful in its plans for the future.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

WEB: I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

The Love of Jonathan to David
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