eMeditation on the Bible 


Question: What do we learn about a relationship with God from the followers Jesus chose for his inner circle? 


Story (Luke 5:1-11; 5:27-32; & 6:12-16, condensed and paraphrased) 

When Jesus began his public career, he chose a group of followers to train to continue his mission after he was gone. Those he selected belonged to opposite sides of occupational, social, educational and political boundaries within society. They included a collaborator with the Roman occupiers; rebels who wanted to overthrow the Romans; a member of a profession hated by the others (a tax collector); some men with little education and unskilled jobs; and those with education and skilled jobs. They were not natural allies who normally lived in social harmony.    


General Principles 

The variety and type of the twelve followers Jesus chose to be his inner circle of students to mentor teaches us that our heavenly father is a “boundary-crossing, community-building God.”  

(1) Jesus reached across social boundaries to form a community of followers whose social divisions needed to be healed by God’s love. This healing was accomplished through their relationship with God as they matured spiritually by following Jesus and learning to live according to God’s core values.  

(2) The variety of followers Jesus selected teaches us that God’s love crosses all boundaries to reach and invite all people to enter God’s family.  

(3) The type of group Jesus mentored teaches us that God’s goal for the human family is to become a community that has been transformed by God’s love so that social divisions are healed as people: (a) forgive each other, (b) treat each other with compassion, (c) seek justice and (d) serve the needy.  


God plans to accomplish this by empowering the community of God’s family on earth to bring full and overflowing harmonious well-being to the whole human family. 


Personal Application 

Although your relationship with God begins as an individual, your relationship with God is also community-oriented. Since spiritual growth is growth in love and love involves other people, your relationship with God leads you to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities to which you belong, including your place of work, neighborhood and city.


Respond by Growing

Grow spiritually by growing in love: (1) Reach across social, economic and ethnic boundaries (2) to serve those in need (3) by assisting them according to your resources, (4) giving them respect and kindness, and (5) doing what you are able to do to heal the divisions within society. 


Responsive Prayer 

Guide me, dear heavenly father, to know how to better contribute to the well-being of others within my communities. Bring to my attention those people whom I usually overlook and do not realize are in need of your love and kindness through me. Give me the power and wisdom to heal broken relationships within my life and community.