God’s Inner Circle

In the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) it is no secret that Jesus had 12 disciples (actually He had numerous disciples, but of these 12 were specially chosen).  Of these 12 there were 3 that were considered His ‘Inner Circle’.

These 3 were the defacto leaders of the early church.  They were Peter, James, and John.  Not only were they the ones that are mentioned the most, it appears they were granted special privileges, too.  Privileges like being the only ones who were invited to the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.  Or, being the only ones that Jesus took into the inner most part of the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His betrayal.

By most accounts, it is not unusual for a leader to have an inner circle.  Those that are most trusted.  Those that are most loyal.  Those that receive special treatment.  But, God is different.  He doesn’t always act the same way we do.  He does things differently.  He thinks differently.  He views things differently.

The real question is not if Jesus had an inner circle, but the real question is who chose the ones that would belong to the inner circle?  We don’t really have a record that explains this, as there is no direct scripture to indicate Jesus made a conscious decision about who would be part of the inner circle, and who would not.  But, there can be little doubt that one existed.

It is my firm belief that Jesus did not make this decision.  It is my contention that each individual made that choice.  In brief, the disciples made the choice.  I’m not saying they decided it would be three and no more.  And, I’m not saying they voted on it, or made a selection.  I’m saying that by their commitment, dedication, loyalty, devotion, and submission they became the defacto inner circle.  In other words, they aspired to greater things than to just be with Jesus.  They wanted more.

They wanted to see everything Jesus did, everything He said, to know everything He stood for.  They wanted to understand, to reach out, to hold onto, to grasp all that Jesus did and said.  This is not to say the other nine were slack in this regard.  But, it is to say they didn’t go as far as the inner circle three went.

I believe I have some scriptural basis for this thought.  It is clear that God is no respecter of persons.  This does NOT mean, however, that everyone is the same.  It means everyone in God’s sight has the same chance, the same access, the same opportunity without regard to popularity, appearance, wealth, race, etc…

While God is no respecter of persons, He does show favor to selected ones.  Who are these ‘special’ ones?  They are ones that are obedient to His commands, responsive to His guidance, thankful for His blessings, and have a desire to get closer to Him.  Note, however, God is not being partial in this.  Everyone has a chance to get close, to gain favor, to be part of the inner circle.  But, not everyone will.

As best as I can tell Jesus did show favor to individuals, and the ones to whom He showed favor did things that were different than all the rest.  We also see this in the Old Testament.  While it appears God is favoring certain ones, when we look closer we see that those individuals pleased God.  In brief, they were obedient, loyal, devoted, and teachable.

So, who can be part of God’s Inner Circle?  It is open to everyone, but gaining admission is on God’s terms not ours.  It is His rules, not ours.  Will God keep anyone from joining the Inner Circle?  I say not, anymore than Jesus refused anyone who put forth the effort to reach Him.

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One Response to “God’s Inner Circle”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    Great food for thought. I hope and pray that I am one of the ones in the “inner circle”! That’s my desire! Blessings….

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