35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. (John 1:35-40)
In this part of the article, I hope to offer you different encouragements on WHY being a part of a small group is actually a good thing for your relationship with God, your relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, and in our relationship with the world around us for the Kingdom of God.
In this article, I’d like to begin with Jesus and His view on “Small Groups”. It is found in the word “Rabbi”, which, in Greek is often translated as “teacher.”
But the Greek view on being a teacher is WAY different than the Jewish view. The Greek view focuses primarily on “information”, while the Jewish view of teaching focuses on “relationship”. And the first 2 people Jesus called into a “teaching relationship” with Him were invited to a small group experience with Jesus.
A pastor friend of mine very well acquainted with Jewish customs was able to calculate the day of the week in John 1:35-40 from the Wedding feast Jesus attended in John 2:1. This encounter with Jesus happened on the eve of the Sabbath. So when Jesus invited them to “Come and you will see” was actually an invitation to spend the whole Sabbath with Jesus, including all the meal preparations and such.
Jesus did not invite them to a “class” on “Jesus as Messiah”. Jesus invited them into relationship with Him as their personal Messiah.
Reflection: If Jesus thought relationship was the best way to grow in discipleship, then I would encourage you to consider finding a small group of people with whom you could share relationship with in Jesus Christ.
Relationship is where discipleship begins.