He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him…
John was fitly called a friend to this Kingly Bridegroom for four reasons. First, ex castitate, for his chastity (See Proverbs 22:11). John was so " pure in heart," and "gracious in speech," that he had the love of the Bridegroom Christ, though, for the same cause, he felt the wrath of the adulterer Herod. Secondly, ex militudine morum. Likeness of manners makes friendship. They were so like, that they were often taken for one the other. They were both valde humiles, very humble (comp. Psalm 22:7, with St. John 1:23), yet a "worm" hath some substance; "a voice" is in a manner nothing. Thirdly, they were friends ex similitudine voluntatis, they both willed the same thing (comp. S. Mark 1:15, with St. Matthew 3:2, and St. Mark 10:19, with St. Luke 3:13, 14). Their faces looked one towards another (Exodus 25:20), and they embraced each other with their wings; and John (Angelus ante faciem) looked with joy on the face of the great Angel, embracing His doctrine, and agreeing with Him in all things. Fourthly, He was the Bridegroom's friend ex-officio, by his place: for as the Paranymphus (so the fathers call John) prepares the bride, with all fitting instruction and ornament, against her spouse come to marry her, so John came to instruct, adorn, and fit the Church for the receiving of her Living Spouse, Christ Jesus.
Parallel VersesKJV: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.