21 February 2014
Jesus was seldom alone during His ministry. His disciples were called to him very early on in His ministry and many followed Jesus wherever He went. But Jesus had specifically chosen His disciples to be with Him and He kept His disciples within His inner circle.
Although not many of us would have “disciples” of our own, we are called to eventually model ourselves for younger Christians and to guide them. But more importantly I think Jesus showed also that we need to be in community with others and also have a trusted circle of friends who share our joy and weaknesses.
Today a lot of people are ultra connected via social media with hundreds of friends in an instant. The world has never seen such breakthroughs in communication technology before but yet loneliness prevails in hearts. Although hundreds and thousands of people followed Jesus, He seemed to always keep a small group of close people near to Him and protected that relationship.
In today’s setting we are easily pulled to different commitments and activities organised by friends. We try to keep up believing socialising with as many will keep us fulfilled. But I know friends who soon realised that it is all extremely fickle and fragile. Especially when we get ourselves in trouble, we soon realise who our “real” friends are. Very soon those who we’re praising us and sharing our social gatherings will disappear. Jesus went through the same situation when He was taken away to be executed. Those who hailed Him and welcomed Him as Saviour at the city gates days before became the ones hurling insults at Him and mocking Him.
Many inmates that I visit tell me how many of their friends stopped visiting tem or even forgot about them. Some even were angry at their pastors for not visiting them in prison. Such is life unfortunately. So we need to be careful and have a discerning heart in who we keep close in our lives and where we invest our time and life into.
The disciples of Jesus, although not perfect, went on to continue the works of Jesus and wrote the New Testament. It was this handful of faithful men who remained faithful to Jesus to the end. Not much is said about the 4,000 or 5,000 who Jesus fed.
Lord Jesus, may You give me a discerning heart to choose my friends wisely and spend my time and life with those who matter even more wisely.