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The Inner Circle

The Twelve Apostles were important servants who were chosen by Jesus Christ, each with a purpose during their lifetime (see What Happened To The Apostles?), and in the future (e.g. Matthew 19:28, Revelation 21:14). All were equally responsible (e.g. "Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:10-11 RSV) (see also Did Peter Have The Primacy?). However, for a reason not clear, three of them, James, Peter and John, were a sort of "inner circle" who were chosen to be present at major events while the others were not.

The Transfiguration The Transfiguration

"And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah [see also Why Elijah?], talking with Him."

"And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah."

"He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son [see The Father and The Logos], with Whom I am well pleased; listen to Him."

"When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only."

"And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead." (Matthew 17:1-9 RSV)

A Dead Girl Brought Back To Life

"And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when He had entered, He said to them, "Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at Him."

"But He put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with Him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand He said to her, "Talitha cumi"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement." (Mark 5:37-42 RSV)


"And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I pray." And he took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch."

"And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt." (Mark 14:32-36 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did James, Peter and John accept the apostle Paul as the "apostle to the Gentiles"?
Galatians 2:9

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