June 12: Available to Those Closest to You

Read Mark 3:1-19

Jesus was not available at the same level to every person.  That statement is, on the one hand, logical; but, on the other, it is worthy of deeper consideration.

Crowds gathered often around Jesus.  His teaching was unlike that of others in His day.  He taught with authority and offered words of life.  It is no wonder crowds of thousands gathered.  But they were also attracted by His miracles.  As Jesus healed many and fed multitudes, His fame spread, and even more people gathered.  Jesus was available to the crowds.

But there were times when Jesus withdrew from the crowds.  There were times that He devoted to those who had given themselves to be His followers.  If we are to read Mark 3 as chronological in nature, we discover that He spent time with His disciples (v. 7) and that they were distinct from the later reference to the Twelve.

Meanwhile, there was the handpicked group of twelve men, referred to here as apostles (v. 14).  To these twelve, He was even more available.  In fact, part of His purpose in selecting them was “that they might be with Him…” (v. 14)  They were the ones that would have virtually unlimited access to His time and His input.

Perhaps you can picture what I have just described as concentric circles with decreasing numbers and increasing availability.

Now, of course, I realize that none of us is Jesus.  Not one of us has all at our disposal that He has.  No one is able to reproduce the things that He does.  Relationally, however, He models something that we do well to mimic…in fact, you probably already have your concentric circles of decreased numbers and increased availability.

Here comes the key question though.  Are the ones who have the most access to you the right ones?  Hopefully, that inner circle includes your family…and, perhaps, a few close friends.  And just as critical is the question:  Is your availability to them and their priority in your life obvious to them?  When talking to them and your cell phone buzzes, blings, or rings, do you give immediate attention to your cell phone and leave them hanging?  Do you give full attention to their activities and their concerns?  Or is it distracted attention because you are double tasking?

Make sure that your availability to those closest to you.