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A quick glance at the pages of the New Testament will soon reveal a truth about the Christian life, which despite being obvious, is often missed. 

It is a team sport. It is best enjoyed in community. 

Although the joys of a relationship with God can be known fully by each one of us individually, there is more to the story. God, as revealed on page one of the Bible, is relational…the conversation is important, as is the feast, and the load which is shared. 

Jesus…even Jesus, it turns out, had need of a few special friendships which were closer and more full than his other friendships and relationships. 

Guess who Jesus inner circle consisted of?

Peter, James, and John (the one Jesus loved!)

Multiple times throughout his life, we find Jesus invited these other three into conversations, secrets or experiences that the other disciples didn’t get. They watched a bizarre moment of transfiguration on the top of a hill outside Jerusalem. They went in a private room to see hearings and the “waking up” of a dead girl…they had conversations while walking along the road which tested and provoked Jesus to new teaching and examples. 

And while their friendship with Jesus included higher-highs than others, it also included lower-lows. Peter sunk into the lake while trying to walk on it. Jesus also called him satan once. Ouch. Peter denied knowing his best mate and abandoned him to the death squad. James and John were dismissed abruptly when they asked to sit next to God in heaven (as you do). 

Yet it is these disciples who are still together after it seems like all hope has been lost, and it is these disciples who Jesus re-appears to and cooks breakfast for. Of course they recognise him. Nobody else speaks to them like this…they know that voice better than any one else. 

We get her a glimpse into a vital part of disciple growth. 

We will of course benefit from private and individual time invested in our friendship with Christ. But we will also benefit hugely from sharing our discipleship with a small group of trusted others. 

I will outline in more detail in the next blog what these relationships look like, but for now let’s glance again at another example, possibly from the same week as the overnight fishing trip. 

Luke tells a story of two dejected disciples of Jesus walking away from Jerusalem after he has been killed, back towards a home town named Emmaus. As the two men walked, they talked about “everything that had happened”.

This means they talked about the death of Jesus, but also some things they remembered him saying, the crazy time he made bread appear, the odd time he broke it and passed it round, the funny moment when he spat on mud to make a paste to heal a blind guy’s eyes, a meal they shared last week, where they were going to stay that evening, what they were going to do for money, if they had ever spotted anything weird about Judas. 


This is a great picture of this vital ingredient of disciple growth. 

A “car-share”…a relationship of trust and depth which lasts along the road as we ravel through life, in which we speak about and share everything.