Genesis 16:7–14; John 1:47–51

Have you ever been to a big event? Maybe a concert? Maybe a sports game? And then you spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours with thousands of your closest friends.

Most of those people really aren’t your friends. Unless you are ticket holder buddies, you are unlikely to see them again.

The reality is that a church service, even when small, can often feel the same way. You gather with other like-minded (at least somewhat religiously) individuals. You sit, stand, sing, pray, sit, listen, leave.

You may not feel that way. You may feel like your church is your family. If so, that’s great! It is also as it should be.

However, there are those that don’t feel that way. They can feel separated, ignored, unknown. They can feel unseen.

Hagar was cast out. She and her son were no longer welcome in the place she called home. She and Ishmael were now in life-threatening danger. In that day and age, being alone in the wilderness does not bode well for a woman and a boy.

There are a lot of people inside and out of the “the body of Christ” that are in a place of being alone. Human survival is far more than food, shelter, and clothing. We need to be known. We need to be seen. We need to be heard.

Hagar’s story is stronger than the simple story of Nathanael. Yet, Nathanael’s heart was open to Jesus because Jesus saw him. Yes, Jesus saw him from far away. Jesus, though, identified Nathanael’s character, as well. There is more than just sight. There is knowledge of the person.

Developing those relations is important for human thriving. It is also important for the spiritual growth of the individual and the body of Christ.

We all have spiritual growth of some sort. However, what sort matters greatly. If your growth is alone, then you can be sharp, but you can also be blunt. Without others to stand beside you, and sometimes in front of you, your growth may be that of a monster not of a believer.

Only in faithful fellowship are we kept on the narrow path. Only in faithful fellowship can we really be seen by others. Only in faithful fellowship can do more than just survive.

※Questions※

1) Who are you actively walking with to disciple and be discipled by? If no one, who could you see being discipling partners with?

2) Why do you think so many people do not have healthy discipling relationships?

3) What will you do to champion healthy discipling in your church?

※Prayer※

Jesus, thank you for your example of walking for years with people as broken as me. Help me see that I still need healing just like others. Help me be your light to others and help me accept your light from others. Amen.

Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at