I'm sitting in a coffee shop, across the room from a round table flanked by about ten men. They lift their drinks, sip slowly, and chat. They've been meeting for Saturday morning coffee for over a decade, some of them continuing friendships that go back 30 years. So they know each other pretty well.
We have an errand to run later this morning, so I walk in with my husband, give him a tea request, and find a chair in the opposite corner. Women are not welcome at the table. "You can't have a boy's club anywhere anymore," one of them quips with a smile as I walk in with my husband.
"No worries!" I'm not interested in interrupting, much less joining. Growing up with a pack of brothers gave me about all the guys-and-their-friends interaction I need for life. It's nice to know these guys have bonded and enjoy each others' company.
Jesus chose his band of brothers, but women often took care of their needs and listened in on Jesus' teaching. The famous Mary-Martha exchange took place when Jesus and his dozen or so guy friends dropped in on a household of one brother and two sisters. (Martha: "Jesus, please make my sister help me with meal prep! Why should she sit around while I'm dying in here, trying to get the food ready by myself?") In Jesus' circle, there was always movement towards knowing God better, including him in daily life in big and small ways.
Topics of conversation with Jesus ranged between mundane routines of living and spiritual instruction. ("What shall we eat? - wish the fig tree were fruiting. Who has money for taxes? - oh, go catch a fish and you'll find the right amount in its mouth.)
Who are you hanging around with today? Do they propel you toward a closer relationship to God? Or are they drawing you away with human philosophy and wisdom?
*Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
*Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17 NIV
*No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:12-13