A Band of Brothers

“When daylight came, He summoned His disciples, and He chose 12 of them—He also named them apostles” (Luke 6:13)

Jesus didn’t walk through life on His own—He had brothers with Him. He chose twelve that would be His disciples, and wherever Jesus went, the twelve went with Him.

Jesus calls us into the family, not because the Father cannot satisfy us, but because we grow better when we’re surrounded by people who cherish their relationship with the Lord just like we cherish ours. Practicing togetherness with our spiritual family isn’t a modern concept—it was Jesus’ concept.

The enemy loves to see us feel isolated. Satan enjoys seeing us struggle alone. In fact, one of his greatest deceptions is alienation. If God’s heart is family, Satan’s heart is alienation. He wants you to feel like you’re the only person going through difficult times; he wants you to think you’re the only one you can trust, hoping you will become bitter with people and convince yourself that you don’t need community. He wants you to believe that you can do it on your own.

That’s right where Satan wants you.

If you buy into these lies, you will end up with surface-level, saving-face friends who don’t really love you—they just like you a lot. But that’s not what Jesus wants for you. He wants you to experience community. He wants you to experience close relationships with other members of the body of Christ, just like He experienced with His disciples.

Jesus spent three and a half years with Simon Peter, who tells Jesus that he loves Him, he’d die for Him. Peter cuts off a soldier’s ear the night Jesus is arrested to give Him a chance to flee. Why? Because Jesus brought them close. The twelve were close brothers, and we know by reading the Word that Jesus had a special bond with Peter.

Jesus says to him, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18). He gives his disciple a new name—Peter, meaning ‘rock’ or ‘stone.’ Peter is not solid; he’s not steady—he’s a loaded cannon, but Jesus calls him that which he’s not because Jesus was speaking truth into his life.

Surface-level friends can’t love like that. Our greatest friends have the greatest influence on our lives. They can speak truth to us that others can’t, and they can call things out in us that strangers never could. This love is deep, and it comes from friendships that are grounded in the Lord.

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