“He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.’” Matthew 26:38 (NLT)

There is both a privilege and responsibility that comes with an intimate relationship with Jesus. Those closest to Jesus were invited to share special moments with Him. He took Peter, James and John, His inner circle, His closest friends, to journey with Him up a mountain where He was transfigured right before their eyes (Matthew 17). They experienced something no one else did, a taste of Jesus’ glory to come. They also saw Moses and Elijah, and even heard the voice of God speaking out of the cloud. It overwhelmed them to the point of passing out! No one else but Jesus’ closest Disciples were invited into this special showing of His glory!

Not too long after that, on the night that Jesus was betrayed, He took all His Disciples (minus one) to Gethsemane to pray. To eight of them He said, “sit here while I go over there to pray” (Matthew 26:36). Then He invited His three closest friends to come with Him, to share in His incredible burden and to watch with Him. Notice only the three were invited to share His burden. Then He went a little further and fell to His face crying out to the Father. Only these three were close enough to see Jesus sweating great drops of blood in His anguish (Luke 22:44). Of course, we know they were overcome by it and passed out, again. But the point is, they were invited in because of their intimate relationship with Jesus. Even later on, only John, “the Disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:22), was given such a clear glimpse of heaven and what is to come (Book of Revelation).

We can be as close to Jesus as we choose to be (James 4:8). Those closest to Him get to see and experience things that others don’t. Also, those closest have a greater responsibility, for those who have been given much, more is expected (Luke 12:48)! Just like the three who were invited in to help carry Jesus’ burden at Gethsemane, Jesus continues to invite those closest to Him to share His burdens. This is called partnering with Him in intercession. This ministry is not for everybody, but only for those who are willing to get that close to Jesus, to hear His heart’s cry and to stay there until there is release. Crazy thing was, His Disciples could not do this in their own strength. It overwhelmed them. Likewise, when we step into Jesus’ burdens we can only do that through the partnership of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27), otherwise we will be crushed by it.

Amos 3:7 (NIV) says “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” We are no longer called His servants but we are now considered His friends, because He shares with us what the Father has shown Him (John 15:15).

So, during this crazy season as you draw near to Jesus, realize that as He responds and draws near to you there is a cost that comes with it. As His friend, listen to His heart and join in with Him as He shares His burdens with you. Ask Him to break your heart for things that breaks His! Take time today to draw nearer to Him and let Him know that you are there, willing to watch and pray with Him, willing by the power of the Holy Spirit to join Him in intercession.