As people, we don’t like being left out. If we had it our way, we would always be in the inner circle. In fact, it’s amazing the emotions and frustrations we battle when we’re left out of the inner circle, when we’re looking in from the outside. We begin thinking why our opinions aren’t good enough to be asked for. We become cynical and critical of this new “clique” that we now see as evil, but only because we weren’t invited into it.
I saw something about this that surprised me in Luke 9:28-36:
Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”-not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
So Peter, James, and John see Jesus in His transcendent form and they say nothing? Can you imagine the conversation that happened afterwards when they returned to the rest of the disciples?
Disciples: “So what happened? What did Jesus say to you while you were with Him?”
Disciples: “Seriously, guys. You were up there for a while. What did He say?”
P/J/J: “Nothing. We can’t say anything right now.”
How do you think the other disciples felt? They most likely fought some of the same feelings that we do. They could of become disillusioned. They could of left the group or embittered people, calling it a “clique” where no one was allowed in except for the ones that “Jesus deemed good enough.” Their reaction could of been terrible.
Yet, we don’t even hear that there was an issue.
How could this be? Surely someone would of been offended enough that the Bible would of recorded what they did. Why didn’t anyone even argue about being left out or Jesus seemingly showing favoritism?
The answer? When following Jesus, just being called to follow Him is reward enough.
This is something that I fight to remember. I can get caught up in groups, authority, influence, and leadership. They tend to make me forget that being a disciple isn’t about those things but rather simply following Him with joy. Instead of being upset about not being part of inner circles, I ought to be thankful for being called into His circle of salvation and friendship.
It sucks not being in the inner circle. Since we’re broken people, the hurt will pierce our hearts. In that moment, let’s choose to focus on Jesus and be thankful. Without Him, we would all be stuck on the outside.