Balancing Discipleship & Friendship Jesus, the King of the Kingdom

BY DORAL PULLEY, Today’s Church Tampa Bay

READ John 11:1-45 | Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus, the one whom Jesus had raised from the dead, lived (John 12:1).”

Jesus, our Wayshower, was a very busy man. He spent a lot of time preaching and teaching in various cities. Training the disciples and answering their questions was a big part of his daily routine. His audience always needed him to perform another miracle such as turning the water to wine, calming the raging seas, healing the sick, raising the dead, or feeding the multitudes. Jesus’ To-Do List was full of giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the mute, or the restoration of limbs to the lame. Despite his heavy calendar of events, he took time with his friends.

Jesus loved the sibling trio of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Their home in Bethany was a refuge for him from the demands of ministry. His friendship with them gave him the balance that he needed in his life. Due to other responsibilities, Jesus did not heal Lazarus when he was sick, and he did not arrive at the family home until four days after Lazarus’ transition. Although Jesus wept and was dealing with his own grief over the loss of his friend, he chose to be loving and supportive to Lazarus’ sisters. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Mary and Martha were no longer angry and sorrowful, they rejoiced in the power of family and friendship.

Are your friendships dying due to lack of attention? Are there friendships you let die that need to be resurrected? Do you have unhealthy friendships that need to be redefined? How can you transform dysfunctional relationships into harmonious friendships? The honest answers to these questions will empower you to balance your friendships with your other relationships (family, professional, and ministry).

Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Today’s Church Tampa Bay, 940 5th Ave. S, St. Petersburg (Staybridge Suites) and 5107 North Central Ave., Tampa.

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