Monday, September 9, 2013
A hopeful outlook
I have an especially hopeful outlook this day.
Kinda like when you watch a sunrise.
Well, we are going to begin a study of the Gospel of John. In and of itself, the message of the gospel of Christ is a very inspiring and hopeful one, but that is not what cranked my tractor!
Have you ever considered who wrote the gospels? Or the other books of the New Testament? Or the Bible, for that matter!
I know, I know, many times there are huge discussions about who wrote what and when. But I think that most agree that the author of John's gospel is, in fact, John. Which one? Well, does the phrase "the sons of Boanerges" ring a bell? (Grin)
The first mention we have of the "sons of thunder" as Jesus called them, is on the beach when He called them to follow Him. They were mending their nets, and they rose and followed Him on a journey that would dramatically change their lives, and change the world.
These zealous, high-spirited men would become witnesses to the life, work, and resurrection of Christ. They also would slip up on some of the banana peels that Satan would throw their way . . .
At one point, the people of a village in Samaria were un-responsive to Christ's message. It was James and John who got excited and suggested that He should call down fire from heaven on the villagers!
And then, when Jesus was talking about His coming death . . . He was revealing how He would be betrayed, then handed over to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged, reviled and killed . . . who was it that suddenly blurted out "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory” (Mark 10:37).
That is something similar to saying "Can I have that great coin collection of yours?" to someone who just found out they have only a day or two to live.
James and John were human. They were rough, sometimes insensitive, and talked sometimes when they should have been quiet.
Do they remind you of anyone? Personally, I see myself there. I hope that we will all be honest and really look at ourselves.
But here is the reason I am hopeful as I begin to prepare our study of John's gospel: God transformed the "Sons of Thunder" completely. At the end of their lives, and down through history, these men became known for something else.
James was the first apostle to be martyred. And John became known as the apostle of love. He was the author of the Gospel of John as well as the epistles of 1, 2, and 3 John. God made James and John into different people than they were before—and He can do the same for us.
Join me, won't you? This promises to be a study that will bruise our toes, and cleanse our hearts, and send us to our knees asking God to help us follow and glorify Him.