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The Disciple John

1 John 1:1

* I really don’t like this restaurant that much, but I wanted to use this 2-for-1 coupon before it expired.

* People say I remind them of Eddie Haskell.

* I used to come here all the time with my ex.

* I never said you NEED a nose job. I just said it wouldn’t hurt to consider it.

* Could you excuse me? My cat gets lonely if he doesn’t hear my voice on the answering machine every hour.

* I really feel that I’ve grown in the past few years. Used to be I wouldn’t have given someone like you a second look.

* And I won that trophy in the inter-fraternity belching contest.

* It’s been tough, but I’ve come to accept that most people I date just won’t be as smart as I am.

John is an incredible study. I’m going to ask you to do something that might sound kinda different. I’m asking that all who get this try to take some time the next few days to sit down with a hot cup of coffee or chocolate and read through the book of John in one sitting. I did this yesterday and got a much different picture of both John, himself, and myself as a Christian. I have been schooled, as some of the younger generation would put it. I saw some things I’ve never seen before. I understand some things differently than I understood them before. I went ahead and read 1,2,3 John as well. They’re fast reads. Wow…..When you read John as a testimony or witness to Jesus, from front to back, you get to see Jesus through John’s eyes. You also get a feel for John’s heart and his understanding of the Christ, the Father and the Spirit.

John’s one of those guys who just seem to get it all the time. He’s in tune. Unlike Peter, who forces his way around, opening his mouth when he should think twice first. John just seems to be the “steady as she goes,” consistent, open spirit, inquisitive, smiling, soft hearted, leader personality. He’s noted in both Biblical references and traditional references as one of the closest friends of Jesus (Peter, James, John). He calls himself “the disciple Jesus loved” throughout his book of John. He seems to be the one who always wants to be around Jesus. He and Peter both follow Jesus after his arrest…John continues to be nearby as Peter stays just outside the area…denying Him 3 times. John seems to be a bit quicker on his feet as well, as he beats Peter to the empty tomb. Another item you’re probably aware of is that John is noted as being the disciple of ‘love.’

From reading John front to back, I think that John is called the ‘disciple of love’ because he was so in tune with the perfect Love. He got it. It wasn’t lovey dovey stuff that he was in tune with…he somehow understood the perfect love that Jesus was talking about. He understood the link between what Jesus did and how He talked. I think he “got it” when Jesus would say, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” For John, love wasn’t an emotion that turned his stomach inside out or made his knees wobbly. Love was what Jesus was full of. Sometimes love was blunt. Sometimes love was brash. Sometimes love was completely misunderstood. Sometimes love was persecuted. Sometimes love was healing. And in the end, love was what Jesus died for.

I have to say that this study helped me realize how much I have lacking. It’s a humbling experience to try to relate to an apostle of Christ. Yet, I know that they were human too. They made mistakes. In a real way, we have a mentor through the men of the Gospels and the men and women of the New Testament church family.

A big thing I noticed about John’s writing is that he’s always “testifying” about something or telling us that we can trust him because he is a witness to the items he’s writing about. John is saying over and over again, “Please believe me, I witnessed this stuff. I talked to Him. I saw Him on the cross. I saw the empty tomb. I met with Him 3 days later. I am a testimonial to His Truth.”

Do we live like that? I know none of us have seen Jesus like John saw him…in the flesh. However, I know that many of you have stories where you’ve experienced Him and you know without a doubt it was Him. Do you live that testimonial? Does your life reflect what you’ve felt in your heart? Does your life reflect the knowledge you have and even more, how that knowledge has led you to an understanding and friendship with the Creator of the universe? John’s life was like that. We can be like that. Our kids can be like that. Our students can be like that.

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