Sunday, July 9, 2017

Inside Jesus' Relationships

Jesus' relationship with the large crowds that followed him

Jesus hung around the large crowds that followed him. Jesus had compassion for them, fed them, healed their sick, and taught them.¹

Jesus' relationship with the twelve apostles

Jesus gathered with the twelve apostles in a secluded place to rest (Mark 6:30-32). Jesus ate his last meal and ushered in the New Covenant with the twelve apostles (Mat. 26:20, 26-30; Mark 14:12, 17, 22-26; ). Jesus remained with the twelve until he was taken by a large crowd that was sent by the chief priests, and elders (Mat. 26:36, 45-47).

Jesus' more intimate relationship with Peter, James, and John

Jesus had a closer relationship with Peter, James, and John than he did with the other apostles. He took them up with him to a mountain, and they saw Jesus transfigured; they saw the vision; and heard the voice out of the clouds (Mat. 17:1-9). He took Peter, James, and John with him to pray before being turned over to the chief priest and elders (Mat. 26:36-39; Mark 14:32-42).

Jesus' closest friend, the Apostle John

Of Jesus' apostles, and contemporaries, John had the most intimate relationship with Jesus. It was John who leaned on Jesus' chest, and asked who it was that would betray him (John 13:23-25). It was John to whom Jesus gave the responsibility of taking care of his mother (John 19:26-27).² It was John who ran to the tomb first and stooped in to see only Jesus' garments, and facecloth (John 20:1-10).

Jesus' most intimate relationship of all with God the Father

Jesus most intimate relationship with the Father, is a mystery. The Father is revealed only in and through Jesus. Jesus said, "no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Mat. 11:27). Jesus said to Thomas, " I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; from now on you know him, and have seen him" (John 14:6-7). Phillip then asked Jesus' to show him, and the other apostles the Father. Jesus replied, "He who has seen me, has seen the Father. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? (John 14:9-10). 

Jesus told the Jews, "I and the Father are one" and "the Father is in me, and I in the Father" (John 10:30, 38).   

Eternal life is about relationship. It's knowing the only true God, and Jesus the Christ (John 17:3). The good news is that God in Christ has embraced us all, and his desire is to share his life with us forevermore. 

¹In one account Jesus fed over five thousand men, women, and children (Mat. 14:13-21; Mark 6:33-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14); in another instance over four thousand men, women and children. Some, if not all of the crowd, stayed with Jesus three days (Mat. 15:29-38; Mark 8:1-9). The number three is significant, and seems to indicate a fulfillment or completion. Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, before being vomited out to complete his mission (Jonah 1:17; 2:10). Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was turned over to the high priest and falsely accused (Mat. 26:36-68). Jesus was in the heart of the tomb for three days, and three nights before being raised to new life (Mat. 12:40). Most importantly, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

²Some argue it's someone other than the Apostle John, but that argument is without merit.   

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