Monday, June 23, 2014

John 21:20-25

John 21:20-25
After Peter was being turned back, while following he sees the disciple that Jesus was loving – who reclined in a place of honor upon His chest in the supper and he said, “Lord, who is the one who hands you over?”  Therefore after Peter saw this one he says to Jesus, “Lord, what is this one?”  Jesus says to him, “If I should desire him to remain until I come, what is it to you?  You, follow me!”  Therefore this saying went out into the brothers that this disciple does not die.  But Jesus did not say that this disciple does not die but rather that “should I desire him to remain until I come, what is it to you?”  This is the disciple who witnesses regarding these things and who wrote these things.  And we have known that his witness is true.  And there are many other things that Jesus did, which should they be written one after the next not even I presume that the world could contain the books that are being written.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Peter is jealous.  There is no other reality here.  Peter sees the disciple that Jesus was loving and wants to know about his destiny.  Jesus gives Peter a sharp rebuke.  Jesus tells Peter that the place of the other disciples in the kingdom is not his concern.  Jesus also reminds Peter of his calling.  Jesus tells Peter to follow Him.  That is Peter’s job.  So long as Peter focuses on following Jesus, what else matters?  The same is true for us.

Why is it easy to get hung up on other people and their role in the kingdom?  What does that eventually do to our ability to serve Christ?

Second Thought:

I love the end of this Gospel.  John confesses that he left some stories out.  But he has included enough to know the essence of Christ.  In fact, he confesses that there aren’t enough books in the world that could hold all that Christ did.  What does this tell us?  Just when you think you have Jesus figured out, you discover that there is more to learn.  That’s a really cool way to end the Gospel account.

Why is it neat to think that there is always more to learn about Jesus and His ways?  Have you ever thought that you knew all there was about a spiritual topic?  Why is that dangerous?

Third Thought:

Since we have come to the end of John’s Gospel, I should make one final claim as to why I don’t believe that John was “the disciple that Jesus was loving.”  Look at the words that close this book.  If John is talking about himself, it seems odd that he would say, “And we have known that his witness is true.”  John would say, “my witness,” not “his witness.”  It has always seemed odd that John would speak about himself in this manner elsewhere throughout the Gospel; it seems nearly ridiculous that John would use this description about himself here.  Rather than make John into a presumptuous and egotistical disciple, logic seems to indicate that John was speaking about another disciple the whole way up to the end of his Gospel.  Given that this description doesn’t ever enter into the Gospel of John until after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and John notes Jesus’ love for Lazarus, the most logical conclusion is that Lazarus is indeed the disciple.  In any case, though, we cannot be completely sure.

Regardless of whether this is John, Lazarus, or whomever … what does it say to you that this disciple is continuing to give witness to Jesus’ life throughout the rest of his own life?  What does this show about how we should respond to Jesus’ love for us?

Passage for Tomorrow: TBD
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