I was up at 6 o’clock this morning reading first, second, and third John. That’s what our 2020 book club is the reading at the moment. After a second slow reading and meditation, my thoughts turned to John himself.
What a treasure to have this glimpse into the heart, mind, soul, and spirit of the last remaining apostle, “the elder”. The one who leaned on Jesus’ chest, who witnessed the crucifixion, the resurrection appearances, the ascension, and lived through the days of the early church and then some 60 to 65 years after that, seeing the church, the bride of Jesus Christ, flourish and develop, as well as, be attacked and deceived in some instances.
He also experienced the loss of his best friends and fellow apostles, Peter and Paul, executed by Rome some 30 years earlier. In fact all of his fellow apostles had been martyred. He himself had spent prison time at the hands of Rome. He alone remained of the original twelve disciples, now called apostles.
Yet his confidence in Christ and the Holy Spirit Who Jesus sent to the church to lead, indwell, protect, and help with life — both personal and corporate, is total!
This has him only summarizing the most important tenants of faith and action — a litmus test, if you will, that helps each person and the Bride of Christ to know if they are known by God, and walking in The Way.
He’s so casual yet solid about it, that it demonstrates his great faith, after all he’s seen, in Christ’s life and the Holy Spirit’s actions; that Jesus believers and church will do well and prosper by the power and intentions of God Himself — by His grace. His confidence flows with his strong, gentle words.
This prophet of prophets — who wrote the Gospel and the Apocalypse.
This apostle of apostles — who walked with Jesus three years as His closest friend.
This fisherman from Galilee — human to the core, one of the “sons of thunder” brothers.
Now aged, and seemingly more divine than human in his manner and his speech.
Living in Ephesus, and attending to the matters of the church in that area as led by the Holy Spirit.
Very loving. Very relational. Very calm and confident, while also being direct and kind in matters of church discipline. Calling a spade a spade, but trusting the Lord to handle the matter while casting light on the situation for the sheep to know who’s faithful and who isn’t. Who is walking in truth and light, and who is not. And ways to tell for themselves in the future, down to our very own generation. Thank you John, for a life well lived, and sharing what you heard and saw as a witness, faithful to your call. Selah (“stop and think about that”). Amen.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” IJohn1:1
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” I John 1:8-10 NIV
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:1-2 NIV