“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:1).
Jesus is in the middle of some intensive teaching to His apostles when He comes forth with this statement about the ultimate expression of friendship. This statement is part of Jesus’ attempt to prepare the apostles for His departure.
When the time comes, he wants them to be strengthened to the point that they will not give up and be discouraged. His coming action will be an assurance that He is their dear friend.
The kind of friendship Jesus describes here was not just for the apostles: it was for all who would ultimately come to Him in humble obedience. He became and remains the best friend we could ever have when He gave His life on the cross for our sins, making it possible for us to go to heaven.