We are looking at the shape of Jesus’ life and his relationships. The core of his relational life was his UP relationship with the Father. He lived IN with his closest followers and mobilized and trained them for mission (OUT) in the course of their day to day lives. Jesus didn’t do anything he didn’t see the Father doing (John 5:19-20). He chose a few specific people to invest in, spend time with and give access to his life. He invited them into relationship and challenged them to change as there were moments to see through the Kingdom lens Jesus was revealing to them.
The Father showed Jesus who these people (disciples) were. These IN relationships are massively important in our lives. We grow together, sharpen one another, love and care for one another. Through these relationships, we see the heart of God and put our faith into practice. We are emboldened, encouraged, supported and challenged in these relationships. There was a texture to their relationships. Jesus interacted with them in a certain way. They met and interacted in specific and familiar environments, peoples’ homes, where they worked (the docks and boats and fields). He taught large groups but he processed what he taught in smaller groups and then he gave them opportunities to imitate him.
As we study and practice IN, think about those who have invited you IN, think about how Jesus brought you to himself, how he used others and how he’s using you to do the same.
- Where in scripture do you see Jesus teaching the disciples and others who were around?
- Where do you see him giving the disciples opportunities to practice or imitate him?
- What was the context of these relationships and what was their texture (how they felt and what they looked like)?
- Write down your observations and/or discuss them with someone else.
John 5:19-20 NIV
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Luke 6:12–13 (NIV)
The Twelve Apostles (6:13–16pp—Mt 10:2–4; Mk 3:16–19)
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles…
Matthew 16:17–19 NIV
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Mark 3:13–14 NIV
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach…
- Who has invested deeply in you?
- What did they do? How did they invest in you?
- Who are you investing in? What does it look like?
- What do you sense God speaking to you about this right now?
- What do you need to do in response to what you sense God saying?
- Talk to someone who has invested in you, spent time with you and thank them.
- Spend time praying, asking God who you are to focus investing in. Jesus had a few, ask him who your few are supposed to be in this season.
- Start connecting with those he puts on your heart. Start small and be persistent!