Mark 5:35-43
While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.


Winnie the Pooh said:  "A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be." 

In Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34, Jesus is called a "friend of sinners."  Jesus was, indeed, a friend to outsiders, to people who had been scraped against the hard edges of life.  And we should imitate Jesus' friendship to those who live in the margins.  But in the gospels, we also see that Jesus valued friendship because he understood, (as Pooh says it,) that a friend is one of the nicest things you can have.

In this story, Jesus' closest followers get an exclusive backstage pass to the supreme miracle:  a resurrection.  Peter, John, and James will be singled out on another occasion:  A Father-Son mountaintop experience.  On the mountaintop, the three disciples were given a front row seat to Jesus' glory (Mark 9:2-13). 

A few chapters later, the three plus Andrew were described as receiving private teaching from Jesus about the end times (Mark 13:3-37). 

Finally, this inmost circle was on the front lines in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was in deep distress and overwhelmed by sorrow (Mark 14:33).

Peter, James and John were set apart to be with Jesus during special moments of revelation.  When Mark wrote about the twelve disciples whom Jesus appointed, he was sure to include the fact that three of the disciples received nicknames from Jesus.  These three were listed first:  "These are the twelve he appointed:  Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means "sons of thunder"), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him" (Mark 3:16-19).

While giving these men special insight into who he was, Jesus prepared these men for future ministry and sacrifice. 

But maybe even more than that, Jesus revealed his humanity as he shared significant parts of his life and mission--the unbounded joys and the deepest sorrows--with three close friends.

"We will be friends until forever, just you wait and see."  ~Winnie the Pooh


Patricia Batten