Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:4
Jonathan had done nothing to disqualify himself from kingship but, his father, Saul had disobeyed God and was unrepentant which meant none of Saul’s sons would ever be king. No doubt Jonathan was aware that Samuel had anointed David to be the next king. Jonathan accepted God’s divine appointment of David, and without being asked he willingly gave David the symbols of kingship.
It’s quite an amazing attitude. Jonathan didn’t grasp, chase or manipulate his circumstances to try to be king, even though he was a good deal older than David.
Jonathan expected that when David was king he would be second in command, “You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you” (1 Samuel 23:17). Sadly this didn’t happen. I wonder if Jonathan was excessively loyal to his father, as he never took the necessary steps to become David’s right-hand man.
Jonathan went to see David at Horesh and was able to find David when Saul couldn’t. Jonathan helped David find strength in God (23:16). But why didn’t Jonathan stay? Sometimes you need friends who will do more than just talk. You need friends who will support you with their actions. “Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh” (23:18). Jonathan remained loyal to Saul and the next time he’s mentioned he dies in battle with Saul (31:2).
Nevertheless, Jonathan was a good friend to David and a loyal son to Saul. He’s also a picture of Jesus because he didn’t consider his position as the king’s son something to grasp and hold onto for his own benefit (Philippians 2:6).