We recently enjoyed a visit from one of my wife’s long-time friends and her husband. They were traveling in their RV all the way from Portland, OR. We sat for hours while Barbara and her friend, Renee, was reminiscing and getting caught up on what was going on in their lives and in our lives, and we all made our acquaintance with each other. Her husband, Ed, graciously offered repeatedly to help with anything that I needed help with, of which I was very appreciative. They were able to park their new RV on our new circle drive which worked out great. On the front of the house we have new electrical receptacles, and the clean out for the house sewer system is located right there in the front flower bed. It was very convenient for them to hook up there for the duration of the visit. Ed has an electrical engineer background, so he was able to help with some electrical issues that we had. He also is very good with computers, and I was having a computer issue and he resolved that for me, and, showed me how he did it. I am building a shop/storage building and he was on hand for assistance there, too. We all ate together, shared our lives together, laughed, prayed together over some matters, and had a “good ole time”.
Jesus came all the way from the glory of heaven for a visit to earth. One day while here, he hand-picked 12 guys to follow him and be personally tutored by him and graciously helped by him. Jesus and these guys became very close. They ate together, they laughed together, they prayed together, and shared the adventure of the ministry together. This is what they were “ordained” to do: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him…and preach…and have power …” (Mark 3:14). Wouldn’t it have been rude, crude, and disrespectful and demeaning if Barb and I had gone off to visit someone else and spend time with someone else while our guests, all the way from Portland, OR, were here? Wouldn’t it have been the same betrayal if the disciples had done that to Jesus? The simplicity of the Christian life and ministry is this: just be with Jesus, just keep hanging out with him; don’t betray him. He has called us to himself, not to various religious opinions and practices, not to what a man or woman says, not to facebook, etc., etc., but to just be with him and to do things together with him. He told his followers that from that relationship they were to go and preach and to have power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils (Mark 3:14,15; Luke 6:12-19). That is exactly what the disciples did. They spent time with Jesus, they preached, and they had power in their ministry to others. They made the most with their visit with him so that he became a permanent presence in their daily life from that time on. That is for us today. Quality time spent in the Word of God in the Spirit of God will produce the life of God in our lives in a rich and rewarding way. Just be with Jesus–friends forever.