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Author Topic: Was Jesus Ever Alone With Just One Disciple?  (Read 1243 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: August 21, 2009, 10:50:53 PM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."

I may be way off base. Perhaps there are many examples of Our Lord being alone with a single disciple, but none come to my mind at this time.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Selam

 
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 02:28:50 AM »

What about St. Paul?  Didn't he imply in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians that he may have spent three years alone with the resurrected Christ, learning the Gospel from Him just as the twelve original disciples did?
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 02:55:43 AM »

What about St. Paul?  Didn't he imply in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians that he may have spent three years alone with the resurrected Christ, learning the Gospel from Him just as the twelve original disciples did?

Thanks Peter. It does appear from reading this that St. Paul may indeed have spent time with the resurrected Lord alone. Very interesting. Thank you for finding that!

Can anyone think of any examples prior to the resurrection?

Selam
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 06:59:14 AM »

The narrative in John's Gospel implies that Jesus talked to Nicodemus alone:

Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2)

Jesus was probably alone when He went and found the blind man whom He had healed:

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, so he found the man and said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man? (John 9:35)


Do these examples count?  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 08:42:35 AM »

Post resurrection, He appeared to St. James alone.

Although not appearing alone, the ending of St. John's Gospel implies that He took St. Peter aside alone.
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 12:01:07 PM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."

Why would you want to deny or refute having a personal relationship with Jesus? First, can I say, just from a debate style POV, if you do argue such a thing with an Evangelical, you're going to only confirm their opinion of Orthodoxy as something "un-biblical/un-Christian" or whatever. (in their mind) In fact you'd give them grounds to argue, "heck even some Orthodox ADMIT they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, and not only that, but they are AGAINST having such a relationship." So it might not be the best way of getting your point across. Try not to prove something in the negative, but rather look to the positive, that being Scriptures showing the need for what they would term "fellowship" in the Christian walk.

 Second, why would you want to disprove something each of us should actually have anyway? This adverse reaction some Orthodox have to having a "personal relationship" with Jesus I'm finding more disturbing as time goes on. Do you not pray to Christ, privately? (and if not, what makes you think you shouldn't?) And yes, I know all the stuff about "we are praying with the saints and angels", but there certainly are some Evangelicals who would say the same thing if pushed on the subject. But even for us, there is some semblance of having a unique, interpersonal relationship with God all through the Scriptures,  OT and NT. The children of Israel were united with their God, and the fullness of His presence came in the midst of them when gathered together as a community. Even today Judaism is formost a communal faith,  and yet there is a strong "personal" aspect to it as well. In the OT, Moses, David, Samuel, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Noah, Ezekiel etc all spoke and "related" to God privately as well. Psalm 50 is a VERY personal Psalm, and to suggest these people and the disciples didn't have a "personal one on one" relationship with God is in my POV wrong. (I realize you don't mean it to say they didn't have a personal relationship, but I doubt an Evangelical, who doesn't understand Orthodox lingo, would appreciate the subtleties of what you're saying.

They might ask, is every single thing we do in the context of "others"? We can only talk to God if gathered together with other Christians? And our relationship is based on communal approval and gathering?

This "can" sound a little too cult like, particularly to an Evangelical ear.

As for your question,  I recall quite a few times when Jesus was alone with just one person or another. For example when Peter asked Jesus "how many times do I forgive my brother" I believe it says something to the effect "Peter came to Jesus", implying a personal (with no one else present) conversation. In Matthew 16:22 it says "then peter took Him aside"...in context of telling Jesus He cannot be killed in Jerusalem. Oh yeah, Mary Magdalene finding the empty tomb and being the the first person to talk to Jesus. doesn't get more personal than that. Smiley There are some other examples I'm sure but these are on the top of my mind.

Not to mention the numerous cases of "personal" interaction people had with Jesus, even though other people may have been present within ear shot. The woman caught in adultery story in John implies a fairly "private" conversation between Jesus and the woman. Just because other people were present to see it, doesn't make it any less "personal".

When many Evangelicals talk about a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" they do NOT always mean Christianity is their own private religion where they neither interact or commune with any other people EVER. (or that they don't need to do so) It is true there are a good portion who DO mean such a thing, (I know because I came from that school of thought) but I would reckon they are not the majority of Evangelicals. Most will say we NEED to have Christian relationships, worship together, pray together, and encourage each other. And truthfully, while I believe we have the "correct" theolgical outlook on this subject, in PRACTICE we are VERY weak compared to Evangelicals in this area. Most Orthodox come to Liturgy and then that's it. You don't see them against until next Sunday. But Evangelicals usually are much more interpersonal outside of Sunday worship, which is ironic considering their emphasis theologically speaking.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents...it wasn't meant to cause offense only to sort of play devil's advocate of what an Evangelical might hear when we make this sort of argument. (or at least thats what I would have heard in my Evangelical days)

In Peace....








 
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 01:38:52 PM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."

I may be way off base. Perhaps there are many examples of Our Lord being alone with a single disciple, but none come to my mind at this time.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Selam

 

I tend to agree with the posted criticisms of this question.

And how is the Orthodox personal relationship with Christ so much better than the supposedly aberrant evangelical relationship? And how do you know evangelicals really have an "exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus"" that is so inferior to your own to the point you must attack it? And is there one Orthodox way, and one evangelical way, or are you just using a very broad brush here?
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2009, 04:46:21 PM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."

I may be way off base. Perhaps there are many examples of Our Lord being alone with a single disciple, but none come to my mind at this time.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Selam

 

I tend to agree with the posted criticisms of this question.

And how is the Orthodox personal relationship with Christ so much better than the supposedly aberrant evangelical relationship? And how do you know evangelicals really have an "exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus"" that is so inferior to your own to the point you must attack it? And is there one Orthodox way, and one evangelical way, or are you just using a very broad brush here?
Please be careful here, truthstalker.  According to the description displayed on the forum index, the purpose of the Faith Issues section is "Discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith."  Seeing that you identify yourself as Evangelical Presbyterian, I want you to understand that I do not permit those of non-Orthodox confessions to advocate their particular non-Orthodox viewpoints in this section.  So far, all you appear to have done is defend your particular tradition against misrepresentation, which I do permit here, but I want you to be very careful to not go any farther than this in arguing your Protestant perspective on the Faith Issues board.  If you want more freedom to share with us the distinctives of your faith tradition, I recommend the Orthodox-Protestant Discussion board as the most appropriate place for this.

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« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 04:50:46 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2009, 07:31:51 PM »

The narrative in John's Gospel implies that Jesus talked to Nicodemus alone:

Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2)

Jesus was probably alone when He went and found the blind man whom He had healed:

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, so he found the man and said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man? (John 9:35)


Do these examples count?  Smiley


Yes, they count! Great examples. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

Selam
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2009, 07:37:05 PM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."

Why would you want to deny or refute having a personal relationship with Jesus? First, can I say, just from a debate style POV, if you do argue such a thing with an Evangelical, you're going to only confirm their opinion of Orthodoxy as something "un-biblical/un-Christian" or whatever. (in their mind) In fact you'd give them grounds to argue, "heck even some Orthodox ADMIT they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, and not only that, but they are AGAINST having such a relationship." So it might not be the best way of getting your point across. Try not to prove something in the negative, but rather look to the positive, that being Scriptures showing the need for what they would term "fellowship" in the Christian walk.

 Second, why would you want to disprove something each of us should actually have anyway? This adverse reaction some Orthodox have to having a "personal relationship" with Jesus I'm finding more disturbing as time goes on. Do you not pray to Christ, privately? (and if not, what makes you think you shouldn't?) And yes, I know all the stuff about "we are praying with the saints and angels", but there certainly are some Evangelicals who would say the same thing if pushed on the subject. But even for us, there is some semblance of having a unique, interpersonal relationship with God all through the Scriptures,  OT and NT. The children of Israel were united with their God, and the fullness of His presence came in the midst of them when gathered together as a community. Even today Judaism is formost a communal faith,  and yet there is a strong "personal" aspect to it as well. In the OT, Moses, David, Samuel, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Noah, Ezekiel etc all spoke and "related" to God privately as well. Psalm 50 is a VERY personal Psalm, and to suggest these people and the disciples didn't have a "personal one on one" relationship with God is in my POV wrong. (I realize you don't mean it to say they didn't have a personal relationship, but I doubt an Evangelical, who doesn't understand Orthodox lingo, would appreciate the subtleties of what you're saying.

They might ask, is every single thing we do in the context of "others"? We can only talk to God if gathered together with other Christians? And our relationship is based on communal approval and gathering?

This "can" sound a little too cult like, particularly to an Evangelical ear.

As for your question,  I recall quite a few times when Jesus was alone with just one person or another. For example when Peter asked Jesus "how many times do I forgive my brother" I believe it says something to the effect "Peter came to Jesus", implying a personal (with no one else present) conversation. In Matthew 16:22 it says "then peter took Him aside"...in context of telling Jesus He cannot be killed in Jerusalem. Oh yeah, Mary Magdalene finding the empty tomb and being the the first person to talk to Jesus. doesn't get more personal than that. Smiley There are some other examples I'm sure but these are on the top of my mind.

Not to mention the numerous cases of "personal" interaction people had with Jesus, even though other people may have been present within ear shot. The woman caught in adultery story in John implies a fairly "private" conversation between Jesus and the woman. Just because other people were present to see it, doesn't make it any less "personal".

When many Evangelicals talk about a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" they do NOT always mean Christianity is their own private religion where they neither interact or commune with any other people EVER. (or that they don't need to do so) It is true there are a good portion who DO mean such a thing, (I know because I came from that school of thought) but I would reckon they are not the majority of Evangelicals. Most will say we NEED to have Christian relationships, worship together, pray together, and encourage each other. And truthfully, while I believe we have the "correct" theolgical outlook on this subject, in PRACTICE we are VERY weak compared to Evangelicals in this area. Most Orthodox come to Liturgy and then that's it. You don't see them against until next Sunday. But Evangelicals usually are much more interpersonal outside of Sunday worship, which is ironic considering their emphasis theologically speaking.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents...it wasn't meant to cause offense only to sort of play devil's advocate of what an Evangelical might hear when we make this sort of argument. (or at least thats what I would have heard in my Evangelical days)

In Peace....



Thank you very much for those excellent examples.

You need to know that I am one who has always defended the fact that Orthodox Christians indeed have a personal relationship with Christ. My emphasis in my original post was focused on critiquing an "exclusive" and "individualistic" relationship with Christ. As I said, I was just trying to think of some examples from the NT where we see Our Lord alone with just one of the disciples. And you guys have provided some very good ones. So my question has been answered very well. Thanks again. Smiley

Selam
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 11:46:41 AM »


Thank you very much for those excellent examples.

You need to know that I am one who has always defended the fact that Orthodox Christians indeed have a personal relationship with Christ. My emphasis in my original post was focused on critiquing an "exclusive" and "individualistic" relationship with Christ.

That's what I figured, but part of me wasn't 100% sure. Smiley

Quote
As I said, I was just trying to think of some examples from the NT where we see Our Lord alone with just one of the disciples. And you guys have provided some very good ones. So my question has been answered very well. Thanks again. Smiley

Well your question was a good one, because there really aren't as many of those "one on one" moments in the Gospels as one might first assume. But it is an interesting question indeed.

In Peace, NP
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 08:45:30 AM »

I have been trying to think of an instance in the New Testament where we read of Our Lord being alone with just one of the disciples. I can't think of any. I do remember that Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but I can't think of any other instance.

The reason that I have been contemplating this is because it may provide a good biblical argument against the Evangelical view of an exclusive and individualistic "personal relationship with Jesus."
Why would you want to deny or refute having a personal relationship with Jesus?
I believe the operative phrase here was exclusive, which would mean attempting to maintain that relationship outside of the Church established by Christ.
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