Called to Closeness
(Modeling the close relationships Jesus had with Peter, James, and John.)
We need to look at how even Jesus needed close relationship and intimate connection.
Masters model of closeness.
Jesus was the Dearest Friend His closest companions could ever have. Even though He had chosen twelve men as special disciples (who would later become apostles), Jesus had a core group of three who shared some of Jesus' most intimate and trying times with Him.
In instances when Jesus only allowed a few to accompany Him, Peter, John, and James were the three close friends who went. When Jesus went into Jairus' house to heal his daughter, these three alone were permitted to enter with Him (Mark 5:37).
When Jesus went up to a mountain and was transfigured into His glorious state, these three alone were brought along (Mark 9:2).
When Jesus went up to Gethsemane to pray the night before His crucifixion, these three alone were taken with Him (Mark 14:33).
These three friends were trusted to refrain from speaking about what they had seen (Mark 5:43; 9:9), and to comfort and aid Him in His grief (Mark 14:34).
So what does this mean for us today?
Mark 12:30And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'[a] This is the first commandment.[b] 31And the second, like it, is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] There is no other commandment greater than these."
Acts 2:42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and the apostles did many wonders and miraculous signs. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Abraham went to the wall for Lot
David and Jonathan
1Samual 20:16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD call David's enemies to account." 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
David’s mighty men
These were the chiefs of David's mighty men—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised—this is the list of David's mighty men…. (1 Chronicles 11:10–11)
2 Samuel 23:13During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" 16 So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. 17 "Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!" he said. "Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?" And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.
Ruth and Naomi - The book of Ruth
Paul in the NT had many close friends, Silas, Barnabas, and Timothy stand out.
Eccl. 4:9 Two are better than one.
John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this than that a man lay down His life for His friends.
Friendship, Close Friendship is a great blessing from God!
Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.
"... When you ask God for a gift, Be thankful if he sends, Not diamonds, pearls or riches, but the love of real true friends." Helen Steiner Rice
“The better part of one's life consists of his friendships.” - Abraham Lincoln (1809-65)
Andy Griffith and Barney Fife, Lavern and Shirley, Charlie and Snoopy, Shaggy and Scooby, SpongeBob and Patrick, Batman and Robin, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, The 3 Stooges…
"Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows."
~ author unknown
Cartoon – Frame one, a robber wearing a mask and pointing a gun toward the frightened victim. Frame two, robber holding out a sack saying give me all your valuables. Frame three, the victim stuffing all his friends into the sack.
So why then do so many of us not have close friends? It begs the question, why are we not following the Masters model of connection, covering and accountability? If Jesus a needed close friends, don’t we?
Contemplative look followed by the statement, There is a cost….
Intimate relationship has a cost!
What it takes -
Time is a part of every friendship equation.
Time to build, time to maintain. We need each other’s time.
You have to take it. We only have so much, and we can’t get more than we have. We just have to take it.
There’s simply no way we can have any sort of real Godly relationships without lots of Grace.
But people do us wrong, I mean you get close to folks and they will let you down, or even hurt you. You might even receive some “ungrace,” which you would be tempted or inclined to reciprocate.
But hold on, we are ourselves in serious need of Grace. We have in fact failed, and if honest, often.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good
egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked."
~ Bernard Meltzer
Mark 11:26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Again I know it can be tough to forgive.
Let them stew, learn a lesson, and don’t want to empower bad behavior…
Forgive immediately or sooner if possible.
Proverbs 18:24bthere is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when
he discovers that someone else believes in him and is
willing to trust him."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Honesty – Not rudeness, but helpful Honesty…
Proverbs 13:3Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Kindness – Be Friendly
Proverbs 18:24A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I went out into the world to find a friend and could not find one there Then I went out to be a friend and friends were everywhere…
Of course the more obvious cost, is that close friends are the kind of friends that can hurt you.
I’m that there’s not anyone here who hasn’t at some point been hurt by someone close to you.
I am also sure that there’s not anyone here who hasn’t at some point hurt someone close to you…
Yet the non-negotiable truth about together, about closeness remains.
John 13:34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
And, we need each other! We need some close friends!
Eccl 4:10If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Proverbs 17:17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
World War two battle buddies
Special Olympics, Spokane, WA 1976 two go back to help up a fallen competitor.
Close: Someone sits in Church today, lonely even in the midst of a crowd of people.
Some are here who won’t reach out or reach back because you have been hurt.
You can love someone with all YOUR heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
love em anyway
More people will do you right than will ever do you wrong…
What you see is often what you get.
Others won’t be a friend because they can’t meet their own expectations of what a friend should be… That’s why there’s Grace!
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and
can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."