You are probably thinking the title of this blog post has a major typo. It doesn’t. Yes, we typically talk about the disciples in terms of a dozen men Jesus spent the most time with and personally trained to eventually oversee His mission. No question, Jesus did have twelve disciples in whom He strategically invested. However, He also had three disciples that He took to a different level than the twelve. Peter, James and John might well be considered the inner circle of the original twelve disciples. Here are a couple of thoughts to consider regarding Jesus and His three.
Jesus took the three to places He didn’t take the twelve!
A quick survey of the Gospels reveals that there were some places that Jesus only took Peter, James, and John. He did not take the twelve everywhere He went. When Jesus went to the Mount of Transfiguration, He only took the three. When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, He took James and John with Him into Peter’s house. Jesus took only Peter, James, and John when He went to heal the daughter of the Synagogue ruler. While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a place where He did not take the rest. How and why Jesus took these three to places where he did not take the other nine we will never know. The fact remains that Jesus took Peter, James, and John to places He didn’t take everyone else.
Only the three are named in Acts!
If you read the Book of Acts, the only disciples mentioned out of the original twelve are Peter, James, and John. It appears that they took leadership responsibility after Jesus left that the other nine did not take. Peter preaches at Pentecost. Peter and John heal the lame beggar while going into the temple. Peter and John are brought before the Jewish council. Peter and John were sent to the Samaritans when they received the Holy Spirit. James is killed by Herod in Acts chapter twelve. None of the other disciples are mentioned in the Book of Acts, leading us to believe that the fact Jesus spent more time with them was preparing them for more responsibility than the rest.
So, here is the question of the day-who are your three? Who are the individuals you are pouring your life into at a deeper level than anyone else? Who are the individuals you are taking places in ministry that you don’t take anyone else and who are you giving more responsibility? Who is in your inner circle?