How did Jesus pick friends?

John 12:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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Surveying the life of Jesus, it is insightful to see how he managed so many diverse, complex, and shifting relationships with the help of prayerful time with the Father and Spirit. The following are eight laws of relationships observed in the life of Jesus.          

  1. The law of hospitality: Jesus was friendly to all people, but He was friends with only a few people. 
  2. The law of capacity: Relationships are costly. A close relationship costs time, money, and energy. In the Bible, we read of all the people Jesus met with, prayed for, taught, and healed. But there is an even longer list of all the people that Jesus did not meet with, pray over, teach, or heal. 
  3. The law of priority: For Jesus, His inner circle of three disciples plus a few friends and perhaps His family got the majority of His personal time and energy. 
  4. The law of seasonality: Most relationships are seasonal. Few are for life. Jesus grew up with people in a small town, but we don’t hear much of anything about those people. 
  5. The law of safety: When it comes to people, we should love all but trust few. Love is free. Trust is earned. Jesus loved everyone but did not trust everyone. People trusted Jesus, but Jesus did not trust all people.
  6. The law of clarity: A transition talk is an opportunity to lovingly but clearly define (or redefine) the lane the relationship will be in. Jesus had this kind of transition talk with Peter. Jesus also had a closure conversation with Judas, who was overtly evil. 
  7. The law of idolize-demonize: In a short amount of time the enthusiastic crowd shouting, “Hosanna, hosanna,” soon became the hateful mob crying, “Crucify, crucify.” This sick cycle continues in today’s celebrity culture where we build people up to tear people down and then build someone else up to repeat the cycle. 
  8. The law of economy: Relationships are like vehicles. Some relationships get good gas mileage. These relationships don’t drain our energy and tend to keep moving forward without a lot of drama or difficulty. Other relationships, however, get lousy gas mileage. 

Which of these is the most helpful and makes the most sense when thinking about your own relationships?

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