About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Priority In Ministry
While Jesus was on earth
He interacted with the crowds, the disciples, the twelve, the three, and
the one. Although Jesus
interacted with all of the above to one degree or another, His primary
relational calling was to the twelve men His Father gave Him.
John 17:6 reads:
"I have revealed
you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you
gave them to me and they have obeyed your word."
Jesus did preach to the
crowds, but He didn't give Himself to them because He did not trust
them, as stated in John 2:24.
"But Jesus would
not entrust himself to them [the crowds], for he knew all people."
Jesus spent some of His
valuable time with His true disciples.
John 12:2 reads:
"Here a dinner was
given in Jesusí honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those
reclining at the table with him."
From the group of
disciples Jesus called out the twelve men that God chose for Him to
personally disciple into leadership ministries, as Luke recorded in Luke
"When morning came,
he called his disciples to him and chose
twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:"
Among the twelve were
three. On certain special
occasions Jesus pulled Peter, James and John aside for more personalized
discipleship, as was the case when He invited them to participate in His
hour of agony in the
"He took Peter,
James and John
along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled."
Then there was the one.
Probably due to the blending of personalities, John was Jesus'
best friend, the disciple whom He loved.
We all benefit from sharing our lives with a best friend, and
Jesus was no exception. John
"One of them, the disciple
whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to
In our career-driven,
multi-media-ministry Christian environment, majoring on the masses can
boost ministry ratings, but there's more to ministry than international
notoriety. Yes, the Great
Commission does mandate us to reach the masses, but as Jesus
demonstrated, the pathway to people on our planet runs through the twelve, the
three, the one, or those of similar number.
Our high-tech internet world certainly does provide many valuable
tools to train future leaders and shepherd God's people.
That being said, personal discipleship of twelve, three, or even
one, into leadership is invaluable.
The sharing of lives with twelve, three, or even one, is
indispensably crucial in the process of pastoral care.
If the prioritization of ministry relationships worked for Jesus,
it will surely work for us.