Crowds and cadres
News of Jesus has spread. Too many people for Jesus to even remain on land; he has to preach and heal from a boat. In an effort to possibly get some crowd control, Jesus makes sure the demons he is casting out keep quiet about his identity, even though they know exactly who he is.
In contrast from the massive crowds on a lake shore, Jesus brings with him a small group of those who would be his disciples to a mountain top. Within that group, 4 are given special distinction. Peter, James and John, are the three who make up Jesus’ inner circle. They witness many things the others do not. They seem to have a particularly special relationship with Jesus. Current Psychological research seems to indicate that you can, at most, have three really close friends at a time. These three are that for Jesus. Even being the Son of God, he is nonetheless human as well. The fourth, it is interesting, is already noted as the one who would betray him. The gospel writer knows his audience is already familiar with the story, so he’s pointing out certain aspects along the way. How much it must have pained Jesus to know what Judas would do, and call him to something higher anyway.