Even Jesus had close friends

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The highs and lows of really close friendships

Jesus had some friends that he was closer to than others. Is that a surprising thought for you? The fact is, that most of us have a few special friends that are closer and tighter than the rest of the group.

When a close friendship works, it’s an amazing joy. Being with our friends is delightful, fun and reassuring. Our friends challenge and inspire us and make us better, richer people.

Even so, a healthy close friendship must have a certain amount of separateness in it. It allows the people in it to grow as individuals without jealousy or competition. An unhealthy friendship is where one person tries to own the other.

However much we like our friends, we do not have exclusive rights to them.  Our friends must be free to be themselves, and to make new friends as well.

Equality is also really important. Equal relationships are where both sides give the same value to themselves and the other. An unequal friendship might be where I say or believe,  "I’m so good and you’re so stupid," or “I’m so awful and you’re so great for putting up with me.”

As in any kind of relationship close friendship has risks.  Hollywood loves to make movies about friendships where one of the parties turns out to be a psychopathic killer. It is relatively unlikely to happen to you, but there are other dangers with friendship.

One of them is exclusiveness.  Just the fact of having some people as friends means that other people are not friends. Exclusiveness is basically pride.  Even when we have personal friends, we must not fall into the danger of thinking we and our friends are better than the rest of the world.

Of course there is also the risk of rejection, whether you are being rejected or doing the rejecting. And there is always the possibility that a friendship will not go any deeper, despite your best hopes.

To think about:

In these two passages, Jesus takes his close friends into some pretty special experiences. How do you think this would or could have affected their friendship, and how could it have changed things with the other disciples?

Luke 8:51-52  And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping."

Mark 9:2-3  And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.

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