Day 16

John



Mark 9:1-8, Mark 10:35-45, 1 John 1:1-4, Revelation 1:9-20

BY Melanie Rainer

The four Gospels tell the story of Jesus: His life, teachings, death, and resurrection. But the Gospels also tell the stories of the men and women who followed Him. The story of John, one of the twelve disciples, is traced through all four Gospel accounts, and is a story of beautiful transformation in the heart of someone who followed Him.

A fisherman by trade, John was the brother of James, the son of Zebedee (Mark 1:19–20). Paul describes him as a “pillar” of the church (Galatians 2:9). He wrote the Gospel of John, the books of 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation. Within the pages of the book of John, he is referred to as a beloved disciple, or “the one Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2).

John was one of three disciples who witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:2–3). Along with James and Peter, John saw a truly extraordinary event: Jesus transformed into His heavenly person, clothed all in white. The passage in Mark 9 echoes back to Moses’s encounter with God, when he came down from Mount Sinai and his face was still shining “as a result of his speaking with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29). Having been there from early on in Jesus’s earthly ministry, John knew Jesus was God’s beloved Son (Matthew 3:17), and having witnessed His transfiguration, he heard what Jesus would ultimately do (die and rise again), though John, along with James and Peter, wondered what this meant (Mark 9:7–10).

Later, when Jesus further explained to His disciples that He would die and rise again, brothers James and John immediately took Him aside to ask if they might sit on His right and left hand in heaven, wanting the glory and honor represented by those positions (Mark 10:35–40). But Jesus flipped that idea on its head, telling them:

“Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (vv.43–45).

Throughout the Gospels, we read of John’s own transformation from fisherman to follower of Jesus, from power-seeking to power-giving, testifying to Jesus’s lordship, “so that [others] may also have fellowship… with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1John 1:2–3). Transformed by that fellowship, he became one of the New Testament’s most prolific writers, receiving God’s revelation of the future, fully realized kingdom of God (Revelation 1:9–11).

Grace, redemption, and change—John, Peter, Matthew, and others are recorded as having their lives turned upside down by Christ. We are invited into the same transformation, and called to the same self-sacrifice as Jesus’s beloved disciple, John. It is a gift and grace to be called by Jesus, and a deep mercy to be transformed by His love, as John was.

Post Comments (33)

33 thoughts on "John"

  1. Tina says:

    CINDY, bless your heart for the hug and encouragement.. sending love across the pond wrapped in blessing.❤

    KRISTEN, you are kind with your words of encouragement.. thank you… may your day also be joy-filled and covered no saturated in His love.. every blessing! ❤

  2. Diana Fleenor says:

    I’m grateful for the reminder that we are called to “not to be served but to serve” as Jesus walked as our perfect example. As I consider the questions RACHEL brought to the conversation regarding weariness in the service, I know we have many voices coming at us today. We have a “self-care” voice which tells us one thing, and a “people-pleasing” voice telling us another thing. Because I’ve learned this narrow path we walk with our Lord has ditches on both sides, I aim to examine carefully each voice I hear.

    Thinking of feeling weary, hungry and even exhausted in serving, I see the Lord Jesus experiencing this as he served beyond typical (e.g. Matthew 3:20-21; John 4:6). Even in Mark 6:30-44, Jesus had called the disciples to come to a rest, but when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them and stayed with them to teach them. Then, he displayed one of his miracles in feeding the multitudes.

    Even Paul spoke about his “many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst…in cold and exposure…daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” while serving the Lord and others (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). Yet he boasted in his weaknesses as he came to know the grace of God to be sufficient for him and the power of Christ rested upon him in a great way.

    For sure I need daily to bring my heart to the Lord to examine for any motive in my serving which isn’t first and foremost to serve and please the Lord. We need to ask him if it’s time to rest or serve even if we are weary. If we aren’t able to go forward because of our weariness, we certainly need to take time in prayer and his word for renewed strength. However, I no longer assume if I feel weary because of serving hard that I have somehow done something wrong because of the examples I see here in the Scriptures.

    It’s my prayer these thoughts are helpful for wrestling with the ideas of service and rest. May the Lord bless each of you with his amazing grace and power as you serve him today!

  3. Tina says:

    Pam C, you made me smile… lol actually! Thank you…love right back across the pond..❤

  4. PamC says:

    Thank you all for your comments. They give such love to my heart. Tina, & Kristen I loved your prayers & copied them into my journal.
    Tina when I came across a tee shirt that had “But God…” on it I had to get it. I think of you every time I wear it. Sending hugs back over the pond.

  5. Liz A says:

    Love this reminder! Lord I pray that every day there is less of me and more of you in my heart, my thoughts, & my life

  6. Buffy Rennie says:

    Rachel, (I tried to reply directly to you, but the app kicks me out)
    Regarding your desire to help others and now no longer wanting to because of being hurt. I am, was right there with you.
    You are a Cooperator and you want to help. That is how you were designed, created. When you step on to help someone, you have made a contract with yourself to complete the work, task, project..
    The Enemy has stolen that from you because he knows you are to use it for God’s kingdom. Because of past hurts and misuse of your desire to help, you need to learn to set boundaries. Ask questions when you see an opportunity to help. Make sure it is what you can do, should do…

  7. Lindsay C. says:

    It struck me how John initially asked Jesus to seat him in a prominent place in heaven, beside the throne. However, once John got a glimpse of Jesus in heaven, he fell down as if dead. The glory and majesty of Jesus in His rightful place was too much to behold. John’s humanity and inability to rule beside Jesus is vividly evident. It reminds me how necessary my sanctification is so that I can continually decrease while Jesus continually increases.

  8. Meredith Ashley says:

    Rachiel – I love these honest questions! You are so right that God calls us to be servants, but what does that look like practically? Jesus wasn’t a door mat or people pleaser, but His ministry was marked by His servant mentality – full of love, compassion, and commitment to His people.

    It’s all too easy to strive to be a servant, but to do so in unproductive & unbiblical ways, and to end up hurting and burned out.

    There’s a book on my reading list by Sharon Hodde Miller called “Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More.” I love the premise of this book & think that it might provide insights on some of the questions you’re asking.

    From the back cover:
    “With biblical wisdom, surprising insight, and deep conviction, this book will help you

    · identify the most common forms of nice Christianity and how they manifest in your life
    · stop being nice and start practicing true kindness, honesty, courage, and joy
    · develop a deeper, sturdier faith that can withstand life’s storms and even flourish in the middle of them

    Take a stand, take back your faith, and follow the Savior who was kind, gentle, compassionate, patient, and good, but never simply nice.”

    Blessings!

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