While Jesus would not agree with the song’s theology, he would agree with its proclamation. Long before anyone sat down and put pen to paper, he modeled the importance of being surrounded by people, of not going through tough things alone, and of admitting a very human need for others.
What strikes me from Matthew 26:36-38 is how Jesus brought people along when he went to pray. Why would he do that? Because he was human, that’s why! We should not gloss over this truth. Jesus, the most human human ever, and yet also the perfect Son of God, needed people in his life as he faced his toughest challenge.
For some, this observation — that Jesus needed people — is an encouragement; for others, a challenge; and for still others, a pipe dream. Over the years I have encountered believers who understand and embrace their deep, God-given, need for a few close friends with whom they can share life’s experiences — both the joyful and the tearful. Their lives are rich and full and they receive God’s comfort and strength in full measure when they need it most (assuming their believing friends step up and respond in Christ-like ways!).
Unfortunately, I have also encountered believers who don’t think they need people, and have chosen to make the lonely decision to “go it alone.” Some think they are strong enough to make it by themselves, while others aren’t willing to risk opening up. Unfortunately, and in ways they’ll never understand or experience, they are choosing to reject some (but not all) of the ministry God wants to pour into their lives (there are, of course, certain exceptions to this rule, but the great majority of us do not meet the qualifications needed to merit such an exemption!).
Being a follower of Jesus means we seek to live our lives the way Jesus would live them, if he were us. There is no doubt, if he were you, that he would surround himself with a handful of people with whom he could live life, and with whom he could be honest and share his heart.
Is it time to join a Life Group (www.efcc.org/life-groups)? What a great way to start inviting others into your journey! Or maybe you’re already in a group, or have surrounded yourself with people, and it’s time to start letting them know more of what’s going on? In any case, what’s next for you to live as a person who understands that we are all just “people who need people.”
By Scott Smith
Pastor of Discipleship Ministries
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