Although Jesus Christ of Nazareth spoke and ministered to large crowds, what is particularly notable about His ministry are the many accounts of time spent with individuals. Jesus small entourage of disciples, however, often saw these "time-outs" as bothersome interruptions. They wanted their man to stay on task with the public preaching of His universal message. Jesus' students seemed to forget that when He had called them, He had called them individually. Even Jesus’ own family had trouble "getting" Jesus’ method. They advised that if He was planning to be a success in His chosen calling, He needed to go where the crowds were.
We get special insight into God's chosen method of ministry for Jesus through His own words recorded in John 17: "Father, I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours and yours are mine." Later He prays even more intriguingly: "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one."
Jesus Christ always saw crowds in light of the sacred significance of the individuals He believed were given to Him by the Father to love. This cultivated attitude and practice is why there was such observable compassion and power whenever He was among the masses. Jesus anticipated His investment in individuals and in small groups of individuals would be reinvested and keep reproducing as an investment long after His own earthly ministry.
During the years of our support group program we have discovered in a new and a fresh way that God wants us to be very careful to always prioritize the sacred significance of the individual. Thank you for making it possible for us to be available to the sacred and significant individuals that God has brought our way! When Jesus Christ left the planet after His few years of ministry, the crowds were gone and only a small band of 120 disciples remained. This small group of individuals, however, had been loved in a way that left them convinced of their sacred significance. A movement was born and the rest is history!
Tim Reside is the President of Bright Tomorrows. Tim has completed 108 credit hours of study in Practical Theology, inclusive of 36 hours at the doctoral level, and holds an M.A. in Practical Theology. Tim has been successfully coping with and overcoming bipolar illness since 1979.