Typically, we have three levels of friendships. In these relationships, we have varying degrees of influence. As with all areas of life, we are to pursue Christlikeness in these relationships. Jesus modeled healthy relationships for us.
Similar to our sphere of acquaintances, He had the crowds. Matthew 9:36 tells us, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Jesus had a connection with the crowds in that he loved them and spent good time with them. He healed all who were brought to him, and taught with boldness to many.
Then, Jesus had His 12 disciples. With them, He had an even greater degree of connection. Jesus had an increased level of say into their lives. He invested and built into them. Jesus only had three years of public ministry, and He chose to spend much of it with them. He knew His time was limited, and He wanted to spend much of it with them.
Finally, Jesus had His "inner circle" of Peter, James, and John. He spent his best time with these three. These were His closest friends. Here, Jesus showed great venerability and tenderness like not many other people. He had their full allegiance. At the end of it all, Peter had the boldness to say, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!" (Matthew 26:35).
As we walk through this short series of building Intentional Relationships, my hope is that you would reflect on Scripture as you think through your relationships. Where are you investing the best of your time? Are you focusing on the right things? Let us look to the author and perfecter of our faith to guide us in building intentional relationships.