I’ve been slowly going through a study by Beth Moore on John, the youngest disciple. One thing that has really shocked me is that John was probably pretty young. As in, teenager or younger. All those Jesus films always project the disciples as old men, but it’s been refreshing to think that John could have been just a young boy, with faith like a child, holding fast to his leader and shepherd. Today’s study was particularly good (they all are of course), so I’m going to type it out for anyone who stumbles across this blog–
Read John 19:28-37
–“He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth.” (v 35)
What can you testify about Jesus, just from being near Him the last few days and weeks? Don’t answer quickly and generally. Be thoughtful. Be specific.
**My answer: he is patient. This has been a really hard year, and my walk with Jesus has suffered. I have become hard and lazy in my time with him, half-heartedly praying every once in a while, sometimes reading my Bible, just to read it. But he has patiently pursued my heart and asked me to wake up and seek him again. Oh Jesus, forgive me.
What do you do when you can’t explain what Jesus is doing–like when He hasn’t stopped a tragedy, or when He’s not lifting another’s sufferings?–
**I stop listening and looking for Him in the everyday. I slowly step a little further and further away until I can’t see him anymore.
“You and I have arrived at a red-letter moment on which much of the remainder of our journey hinges. I am convinced we’ve stumbled on the thing that set John apart and made him the fertile soil into which God could sow the seeds of such a Gospel, such epistles, and such a revelation.
John remained nearby Jesus whether his leader was on the Mount of Transfiguration, or in the deep of Gethsemane’s suffering. John leaned affectionately upon Him during the Passover feast but also followed Him into the courts for the trails. John clung to Jesus when He raised the dead, and he clung to Jesus when He became the dead.
John was found nearby when human reasoning implied his faithful Leader’s mission had failed. He couldnot have comprehended that the plan of the ages was going perfectly. Yet he ramined. He who looked upon a face that had shone like the sun (Matt 17:2) was willing to look upon a face bloody and spit upon. He stayed nearby during both Christ’s brightest and darkest hours. The young disciple knew Jesus in the extremities. John was willing to look when others would have covered their eyes, and he beheld Him. How can we behold what we are unwilling to see?
We cannot claim to know anyone intimately whom we’ve not known in the intensity of both agony and elation. Anyone with eyes willing to truly behold Jesus will at times be cvonfused and shocked by what he sees. You see, if we’re willing to be taken to the extremes of His glory where intimate knowledge is gained, we will undoubtedly see things of Him we cannot explain and that sometimes disturb.
Then comes the question: Will we walk away from Jesus when from human understanding He looks weak and defeated? Do you know what I mean by that question?
When based on earthly evidence, human reasoning is left to one of two harrowing conclusions: He is either mean or weak. Think, beloved, about what I’m saying. Will we cling when our human reasoning implies evil has defeated Him? Or that evil seems to be found in Him? Will we stand by faith when human logic says to run? That’s what will make us different.” (Beth Moore, John)