12Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: 14Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, 16and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
17He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Jesus "spent the night in prayer to God."
Jesus "called his disciples."
Jesus stood "with a great crowd of his disciples and
a great multitude of people."
- from Luke 6:12, 13, and 17
What kind of person are you? Introvert or extrovert? Life of the party or the quiet one sitting on the sidelines? One thing you can say about Jesus and get no argument is that Jesus is not a loner. Jesus lived a life on earth full of connections with others, a life overflowing with relationships. We read in the Bible that Jesus went to parties, attended dinners, and was often surrounded by people. We also find that he valued his alone time too.
Jesus surely spent more than one night alone and in prayer to God. He retreated to a place by himself to pray, but was not alone. He talked with God the Father, receiving strength and direction from his prayers.
Jesus gathered a small group of men to be his closest followers and made them into disciples. He taught them, led them, showed them his powerful miracles, and invited them into fellowship with him. He sent them out to make disciples of all the world.
Not only the twelve disciples, but a multitude of people often surrounded Jesus. He told them of God's love. He healed them. He gave himself to them - his time, his energy, his thoughts, his very presence.
We are created to live in community with others. Some of us are usually surrounded by lots of people, others live in relationship with a smaller number of folks, but we are all stronger when we are in community. Thank God today for the people in your life. And thank God that by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is in relationship today with you.
Lord Jesus, in your earthly life, you knew the joy and heartache of family life, and you experienced both the comfort and challenge of living with friends and neighbors. Bless us in all our differing home situations. Work in us that we may be good neighbors. Give us the compassion to live for others. Amen.
Pastor Pam Mitcham-Pastor of Community Care