Some of my “with them” on vacation together in 2019
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
It stands on its own.
When you let Jesus teaching here sink in to you and get inside you it changes you.
But you know what got me this time as I read this?
“He went down with them…”
Before Jesus went out and dropped this teaching, before Jesus showed up on a “level place” and was oozing power, before Jesus was healing all these folks…
“He went down with them…”
Jesus after a night of prayer called his disciples to him and from all of them he chose twelve who would be apostles. Men who were would be drawn in closer during his life.
The Twelve would be his band of brothers.
The Twelve would be his “with them.”
The Twelve would be with him to the very end.
The Twelve would be the ones to wound him deeper than any nail.
The Twelve would be the ones to carry the message.
The Twelve would be his family.
Jesus, the God-man, knew he needed a “with them” to carry out the purposes for which he was sent. He needed a group of people on whom he could rely. When the night was darkest he needed people around him in whom he could trust.
Jesus, the God-man, knew he couldn’t go it alone.
So why do we?
Why do we think that we can live this life alone?
Why do we think that we can bear up under the struggle without help?
Why do we think that others need us but we don’t need others?
Why do we think that “just me and Jesus” is even close to right?
If the God-man needed a “with them” so do we.
Who is your “with them”?