** And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. ** Matthew 17:1,2
How many of us have an inner circle of friends and family members that we trust enough to share our secrets and run to when we are in trouble? They are the people we count on in tough times. They have walked with us through our darkest days. They have stuck with us in our ugliest moments.
In the amazing story of Jesus’ transfiguration, we see that He also had his own inner circle.
Peter, James and John.
I’m not sure what they did better than others to get into that inner circle, but they do seem to always be where Jesus is. Or if not right there, they are not far away. And being nearby, they saw some amazing things that others did not have the chance to see.
Have you ever noticed the different groups of people in Jesus’ life?
His family. His mother, his brothers. Like our own families they are never far away. They don’t always understand us maybe, but we can always count on them to be there when we need them.
The scoffers. Those that were a thorn in Jesus’ side from day one. Those that think they are better, holier, more in touch with God than His very own Son.
The multitude. The crowds that gathered for the big events. The healings, the bread and fish stories, the raising of the dead, the casting out of demons. The fantastic. The emotional. The exciting part of getting close to Jesus.
The disciples. Those that Jesus chooses to get a little closer. Those that spend time with Him on the quieter days. Those that He wants to show some more intimate details about who He is. Those that will pay a higher price for identifying with Him. The ones that aren’t there just for the miracle glory days, but are there for the deeper conversations, the greater life truths. They want to serve and help and make an impact on those around them.
The inner circle. The ones that are invited to some very special moments. Like Jesus’ transfiguration, seeing Moses and Elijah, hearing the Father’s voice. The supernatural, nobody is going to believe this stuff, moments.
And the darker times. Like the garden of Gethsemane. The interrogation of Jesus by the mockers and unbelievers. The cross. The cruel, ugly cross of suffering and shame and blood. The inner circle that is willing to stay close to Him in the middle of their worse nightmare.
The scorners and unbelievers are the biggest crowd. Many, many identify with them.
The multitude is a big crowd as well, but not as big as the scorners. They are those who are willing to stay on the fringes and enjoy the show.
The disciples are fewer still. They are the braver ones. Those willing to take some hits for their faith in Christ. They are willing to pay a higher price to see what others don’t see. They are students of Jesus’ life and words and actions.
The inner circle is very small. Those that belong to it are the Pauls and Peters. The James and Johns. Those that are willing to die for knowing and speaking of Jesus Christ. The Heroes of the Faith. Those that receive a place in Hebrews 11.
If someone asked us which group we belong to, what would be our answer?