If you’re like most people, you have a pretty big number of acquaintances, then you have a smaller number of friends, two or three close friends and last but not least you have one best friend.
Jesus was just like us concerning acquaintances and friends. In Luke 10, He had His 72 acquaintances that He sent out two by two ahead of Him. He had His twelve friends, better known as the twelve disciples. Then He had His three close friends, Peter, James and John and last, His best friend, John.
The Twelve Disciples – Jesus’ Twelve Friends
Jesus could have spent His time with anybody while He was on this earth. If we had that choice today, most of us would choose a group of famous friends or friends with tons of money. Some of us might choose to be seen with royalty.
Jesus didn’t care about any of that. He chose to spend most of His time with an assorted and diverse group of men. This ragtag group ranged from Judas Iscariot, the most famous double agent in history who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver to Nathanael, a man who, Jesus Himself said, had absolutely no deceit.
Jesus included in His group a dishonest, greedy tax collector named Matthew and Thomas, who stated emphatically concerning Jesus’ resurrection, “There’s no way I’m going to believe this unless I personally see the wounds of the nails in his hands, touch them with my finger, and put my hand into the wound of His side where he was pierced!” (John 20:25)
And we’ve all heard of Peter, who in today’s society would no doubt be labeled bipolar for going from one extreme to the other. Peter is the first to see and declare that Jesus is the Son of God, but moments later, he takes Jesus aside and actually rebukes Him for saying that He would suffer and die. At the last supper, Peter bravely declares that he will never leave Jesus and will be faithful unto death but then, hours later, he denies that he even knew Jesus not once but three times.
Then there were the brothers, James and John who had their mother ask Jesus to grant them the privilege to sit next to Him in His kingdom. They were also the two who asked Jesus if He wanted them to call down fire from Heaven to burn up a group of Samaritans for not being nice to Him, earning them the nick name, the Sons of Thunder.
Last, we all have those friends that no one really talks about but we love them just the same! Jesus had five of them: Andrew, Peter’s brother, Philip, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James.
I think it’s safe to say that Jesus was the first to have a group called The Motley Crew!
The Inner Circle – Jesus’ Close Friends
For His inner circle, Jesus chose the very extreme Peter and the Sons of Thunder, James and John! They got to see things the rest of the disciples didn’t. They were the only ones that witnessed Jesus be transfigured which was described in Matthew 17:1-3:
“…Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.”
Many people try to theorize why Jesus chose Peter, James and John as His inner circle. I believe the main reason was that those three needed Jesus more. Peter was brash and impulsive. James and John were prideful, self-seeking, and judgmental. Jesus saw gifts past all their flaws and wanted to bring those gifts to the surface.
John – Disciple that Jesus Loved
John was special to Jesus and Jesus did love him but of course, Jesus loved all His disciples. Jesus was closer to John because John wanted to be closer to Jesus. John is referred to as the Disciple whom Jesus loved several times, however, everyone of those times is by John himself in the Gospel of John.
One thing really stands out for me that illustrates the closeness of Jesus and John and that’s when Jesus is up on the cross and He wants to make sure His mother will be cared for after He is gone, John is the one He chooses for that role. That shows not only love but a high level of trust.
You can be a Friend of Jesus
If you really pay attention when you read the New Testament, you’ll notice that Jesus was close to people who desired to be close to Him. I think about how cool it would be to have been able to hang out with Jesus while He was on the earth. I would have had to be in the inner circle and I would have pushed past everyone else and been sitting beside Him at the Last Supper. But I can’t go back in time so I’m going to draw close to Him now.
If you have never experienced God’s presence, be tenacious about it and pursue Him in worship. His presence is better than any drug I ever tried. It’s better than anything else. It’s what keeps me going when nothing else can. Pursue Him with everything that’s in you, It’s worth it!
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you have at the bottom of this page. Thank you!
Yours In Christ,
Shiloh Mandi Griffin, M.Ed.
Founder of PrayingProphet.net