Not many of us know that just as we cherish having an intimate relationship with God he also desires to have a deeper relationship with his children. God created us to be intimate beings. Jesus teachings in the book of John reveals to us the importance of relationships, especially with our Heavenly Father. Jesus, in very many ways, modeled the importance of intimacy and relationship to us in the way he related with his Father, with others like Mary and Martha and with his disciples.
Severally and emphatically, Jesus spoke about the relationship he had with his Father. This relationship was the foundation of all he did, the miracles, the signs and the wonders which he did. He testified that, all he did and spoke about, were what his Father taught him, and that he could do nothing on his own except what he sees the Father do.
“Most assuredly, I said to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever he does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that he himself does; and he will show him greater works than these that you may marvel” (John 5:19,20). Similar statements were repeated by Jesus in different ways in John 5:30; 6:38; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10. All these statements demonstrate the intimate relationship Jesus had with his Father. As God’s children, that is the way we ought to relate with our Heavenly Father.
JESUS WITH MARY AND MARTHA
Again, Jesus modeled the importance of intimacy and relationship when he visited the home of Mary and Martha. The story which is recorded in Luke 10:38-42, have it that when Jesus arrived in the home of Mary and Martha it was the later that enthusiastically welcomed Him to their home. But, soon after Martha welcomed Jesus, she became preoccupied with how to entertain the Master. So engrossed was she with the preparations that she complained to Jesus that Mary, her sister left all the chores to her while she concentrated on just listening to Jesus. “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
Martha was obviously doing a legitimate thing of trying to entertain Jesus, but Jesus felt otherwise, he felt that entertainment was not the most needful thing to do at that moment. Rather than heed to the request of Martha’s for help, Jesus subtly reprimanded her thus: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” We are often worried and troubled with many things in life that serve to distract us from having an intimate relationship with God. Perhaps, in no other generation have we faced more distractions than the present generation. We have televisions sets in our rooms and offices, different kinds of phones, Internet facility every time of the day, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. All these gadgets and facilities are good, but a subtle and constant source of distraction from maintaining a constant fellowship and relationship with God. The one thing that is most needful in the Church today is coming into the place intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus. We are created to have Intimacy with God. Intimacy is what we are designed for and where we ought to be. It is the place of our rest, the place of our fellowship, the place for strength and power.
JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES
JESUS further demonstrated the importance of intimacy and relationship when he invited his disciples to be with him on a mountain top in Mark 3:13-15. A mountain is an exclusive place of isolation for reflection and solitude. In this place, Jesus did a few things of interest. First, we are told that he invited those “whom he wanted” to this summit experience. Often, God invites us to the place of isolation and solitude with him. Second, he appointed twelve of them in this place to be with him. The phrase, “that they might be with him” shows us the priority Jesus places on intimacy and relationship. Third, it was here he empowered them and sent them out to heal the sick and cast out demons. Thus, we see that the call to ministry and spiritual power is received in the place of solitude, quietness and intimacy. Spiritual strength is got in the process of waiting on the Lord.
As always, we have an invitation into the presence of God. Let us heed the call of God to come to the place of his rest and quietness so we can enjoy and have an intimate relationship with him. That is the place from where we can gain strength and power.