The apostle John never
refers to himself by name in his gospel. Moreover,
he never mentions his brothers' name or his mother's
name. He rather hides in the shadows and in the "we"
passages in his gospel (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2;
21:20-24). He has powerful keen spiritual insight
and rare intellect. He is the keenest interpreter of
Christ. He is perhaps the "greatest of all mystics."
John saw more than anyone else in the person and
work of Christ. John is never visible in his gospel,
but Jesus is never invisible. As a disciple of John
the Baptist he learned that Jesus "must increase, I
He has been described by
scholars as a dreamer, a mystic, seer, poet,
philosopher and fisherman. His personality reveals
an intuitive thinker. "When he saw, he saw far more
than others did. When he heard, he heard what others
did not hear. When he handled, he became conscious
of matters not patent to the common crowd. John was
a man who was ever looking for the invisible, and
seeing it; listening for the audible, and hearing
it; feeling after the intangible, and sensing it,"
observed G. Campbell Morgan.
John was melancholic
temperament, genius mind and rarest soul. He keeps
silent in the shadows and broods like a genius of
the greatest philosophers. Like the Hebrew prophet
Isaiah he was deeply stirred by the "Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world." He had been a
disciple of John the Baptizer until he was called by
Jesus to come and follow.
A. T. Robertson said,
"The young John had in him the finest kind of stuff
that appealed to the heart of Jesus and made
possible the highest and holiest friendship that
earth has known." John's keen mind was ready for the
touch of the Master Teacher. He responded quickly to
His teaching and coaching. Robertson adds, "His
knowledge ripened and mellowed through a long life"
till he produced "the greatest book of all time."
Peter, James and John
were the inner three in the circle of close
companions of Jesus.
At the cross of Jesus,
John is alone of all the apostles, with the group of
faithful women, including probably Mary the mother
of Jesus and his own mother (John 19:25-27). He was
the first of the disciples to believe in the fact
that Jesus was risen from the dead (John 20:8).
THE MAN JOHN
We know him as "the
disciple whom Jesus loved" and "the other disciple."
John was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, and he
was probably the youngest son of Zebedee and Salome,
and the youngest of the disciples. Many scholars
think Salome is the sister of Mary the mother of
Jesus (Mark 15:40; John 19:25). If so, then James
and John are cousins of Jesus. John's mother
followed Christ, ministered to Him, was at the cross
and among those who went to anoint the body of
John's father was a
successful fisherman, owning his own vessel and
prosperous enough to have hired servants. John
followed in his father's trade and was apparently
successful since he also had a home in Jerusalem
where he took Mary the mother of Jesus after her
As a disciple of John the
Baptizer he was a thoughtful, earnest, pious Jew who
was prepared for the coming of the Messiah. His
contact with Jesus convinced him that Jesus Christ
was "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the
We know on occasion that
John and James were intolerant of other believers.
John spoke up and said, "Master, we saw someone
casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to
hinder him because he does not follow along with us"
(Luke 9:49). Jesus told him, "Do not hinder him; for
he who is not against you is for you." (v. 50). Old
Adam's nature has a subtle way of coloring much of
what we do. It has to be tamed by the love and power
of God. That trait came out later when he dealt with
the antichrist teachers and gnosticism in the First
John is a man of
religious influence and contacts who had access to
the high priest and his court when Jesus was tried
by the Sanhedrin (John 18:15). He knew his way
around the courtyard and went into the room where
the trial was taking place.
John is revealed in the
Scripture as full of natural energy (Mark 3:17),
intolerant at times (9:38), vindictive (Luke 9:54),
ambitious (Mark 10:35-37), eager to learn as a
student (John 13:23; 1 John 2:9), sympathetic
(19:26) with mature love for the Master and others
(1 John 4:7-21).
"He was a mystic in the
highest sense, a seer with a prophet's vision, a
historian with an eye for the essential facts, and
an artist with dramatic skill able to reproduce
Jesus as the Incarnated Son of God, made flesh and
moving among men whom He came to save" (Robertson).
Jesus called James and
John "Sons of Thunder" or Boanerges, which is a
modified transliteration of the Hebrew Bene
Regesh. Regesh literally means "tumult"
or "uproar." Rogez means the "rumbling of a
storm." This is probably a reflection on the
temperament of John. John and his brother "could
flash fire at times." "A man cannot flash fire
unless he has some flint in him. It runs up and down
his backbone and it shows in his face," says Hayes.
Zeal and enthusiasm were part of their
personalities. When a man seals his testimony with
his very life, you know he is in dead earnest about
what he believes. John's brother James was the first
of the apostles to seal his testimony with his death
as a martyr.
Jesus takes the intensity
of their personalities, develops it and uses it for
His work. Someone said, "When God makes a prophet,
he does not unmake the man." God takes all that is
good in our personalities, talents, gifts,
abilities, interests and hones them into instruments
for His glory.
How did Jesus tame the
fire in John? How did He turn the son of thunder
into the apostle of love? Only the love of God can
tame the fiery zealous personality and channel it in
the right direction. When the soul is in close and
constant touch with the Master it will be evident in
the changed life.
THE METHOD OF JESUS
What did John
I think John was one of
the two disciples of John the Baptizer who
"followed" Jesus when they heard the Baptizer
calling Jesus the Lamb of God (John 1:35-42). They
joined themselves like glue to Jesus. From that
point on John was led into a fuller light of
understanding and deeper experience with his Master.
His spiritual growth is an example and encouragement
for us. With each new experience, we see John
growing in his faith and convictions about who
Christ is. Every response to light brought enlarged
capacity for further revelation. John never lost his
power to see spiritual truths. Whenever John
received a new vision of the Lord in His glory, he
was called upon to trust his Master and grow
spiritually and personally. When that truth comes it
will always demand a decision on the part of the
recipient. How tragic when we halt before God. With
each new truth comes new responsibilities to trust
and obey, a new area of sacrifice and obedience and
some new area of spiritual growth. When I disobey I
loose the power to see and grow.
It is vital for all
disciples to enter into a fuller, deeper, and richer
knowledge of Jesus Christ. What were some of those
experiences that made John the apostle of love?
spiritually when He saw the "signs" of the glory of
the Son of God.
After the miracle of
creating wine John writes, "This beginning of His
signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested
His glory, and His disciples believed in Him" (John
2:11). The "signs" Jesus performed were "attesting
miracles" which pointed to the "supernatural power
of God in redeeming grace" (NASB margin note). These
tokens of divine authority "manifested" the glory of
the Son of God. John saw the hidden glory of Christ
made visible. To John it was clear that Jesus was
essentially God. John saw in the miracles the
demonstration of the glory of the Son of God.
His whole gospel is a
presentation of the evidence of the character of
Jesus Christ revealed as the Son of God. "Many other
signs [same word] therefore Jesus also performed in
the presence of the disciples, which are not written
in this book; but these have been written that you
may believe that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah], the
Son of God; and that believing you may have life in
His name" (20:30-31).
One of the great
principles in the Christian life is seen in the life
of John. In proportion as we obey the Word we are
enabled to understand still more of His truth and
grace. It is a growing relationship with Jesus
W. H. Griffith Thomas
observed, "our Lord's miracles were wrought almost
exclusively for the purpose of strengthening the
faith of His disciples and not for the purpose of
winning over the outside world. These men were
already His disciples, . . . It was only afterwards
that they had miracles to confirm their faith." On
various occasion Jesus warned them "see that you
tell no man." Thomas adds, "there are few more
convincing proofs to the believer himself than the
constant experience of God's grace in his soul."
Jesus' sign to the lost word was and still is,
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise
it up." Everyone must begin at the death and
resurrection of Christ.
It was a personal and
growing experience with Christ that changed John.
Each miracle along with the teaching of the Master
Teacher reinforced his convictions. He was in the
presence of Christ and surrounded by His grace and
influence. It was through this fellowship with
Christ that the rough edges in John's personality
were knocked off and his attitudes changed and
The disciple John saw the
Creator at work in changing the water to wine. It
was evident to John's sharp mind, "All things came
into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing
came into being that has come into being" (1:3).
John grew when he
saw Jesus' power over death
John with Peter and James
saw Jesus raise Jairus' daughter from the dead (Mark
5:36-37). Jesus said to the synagogue official after
he had received word that his daughter had died, "Do
not be afraid any longer, only keep on believing"
[margin NASB]. John saw Jesus take the child by the
hand and say, "Talitha kum!" "arise!" "And
immediately the girl got up and began to walk; for
she was twelve years old. And immediately they were
completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders
that no one should know about this; and He said that
something should be given her to eat" (vv. 41-43).
In John chapter eleven
Mary and Martha sent word that their brother Lazarus
was sick. Jesus told the disciples, "This sickness
is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that
the Son of God may be glorified by it" (11:4). Jesus
waited two more days and Lazarus died. It was not
because He didn't love them. John says, "Now Jesus
loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus (v. 5). He
tarried that they might see His glory and know who
We see Jesus encouraging
their faith when He meets with Martha and He tells
her, "Your brother shall rise again. . . I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me
shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives
and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe
this?" John quotes Martha saying, "Yes, Lord; I have
believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God,
even He who comes into the world" (vv. 25-27).
In the next scene, we
hear Jesus commanding the men to remove the stone
from the tomb entrance. John vividly recalls Martha
saying, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench;
for he has been dead four days." Jesus replied, "Did
I not say to you, if you believe you shall see the
glory of God?" Jesus prayed and then cried out with
a loud voice, "Lazarus come forth." John tells us
Lazarus "came forth, bound hand and foot with
wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a
cloth. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, and let him
go.' Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to
Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him"
Would John pass the
ultimate test that would come when Jesus died? How
good was his vision?
John saw the glory
of the cross
However, like Peter and
the other disciples, John still had not grasped what
it meant for Jesus to be Lamb of God.
After Peter's confession
of Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus
"began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer
many things and be rejected by the elders and the
chief priests and the scribes, and be killed and
after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31). Mark tells
us Jesus "was stating the matter plainly" (v. 32).
You remember, Peter reacted angrily and violently.
We don't know John's reaction to those words.
John was there at the
transfiguration and Jesus, "Was transfigured before
them; and His garments became radiant and
exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can
whiten then" (Mark 9:2-3). Elijah appeared with
Moses and "they were conversing with Jesus" (v. 4).
It scared the life out of Peter and he got to
talking out of his head. "Then a cloud formed,
overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the
cloud, 'This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!' And
all at once they looked around and saw no one with
them anymore, except Jesus only" (vv. 7-8). Then
Jesus "gave them orders not to relate to anyone what
they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from
the dead" (v. 9). When would they be permitted to
talk about that experience? Only after Jesus had
died and risen from the dead.
Jesus was glorified
before their very eyes in a way they had never
realized before. The three were permitted to see the
glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God as He
was in heaven before He became flesh. John saw that
Jesus was the Son of God in contrast to the Moses
and Elijah, who were only servants of God. However,
the disciples were stumbling over the cross and
Moses and Elijah were discussing the coming death
with Jesus. Luke tells us that from that point on,
"He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem"
Years later John would
write, "We beheld His glory" (1:14). John reminds us
in his gospel that there were many other experiences
that were too sacred to write in his book. "A true
disciple always knows more than he can tell." The
important thing for us to learn is Christ always
becomes more precious to those who are in an
intimate fellowship with Him. The more intimate and
personal is our fellowship with Christ the more
precious He will be to our own souls, and the more
powerful will be our witness for Him.
John grew when he
Luke tells us that about
this time Jesus met up with some hostile Samaritans
who "did not receive Him, because He was journeying
with His face toward Jerusalem" (Luke 9:52-53). John
and James were ready to intervene. "Lord, do You
want us to command fire to come down from heaven and
consume them?" I always grin when I read those
words. Who has the power to command such judgment?
Not the disciples. Jesus got stern with them and
rebuked them. This rough edge needed to be knocked
off. We need the exhortation that comes from the
Lord. Like John, we have blind spots that we don't
see but others do, and these need to be revealed and
changed through God's grace and power so we can
become better witnesses for Christ.
We see more rough edges
being honed off of John when his mother went to
Jesus asking for a special seat in the kingdom for
her sons. She said to Jesus, "Command that in Your
kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your
right and one on Your left" (Matthew 20:21). Jesus
responded, "You do not know what you are asking for.
Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to
Jesus worked at
clarifying the values of James and John and Salome.
"Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be
your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among
you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did
not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His
life a ransom for many" (20:26-28). Service, not
power and control is what Christ demands. Not
greatness, but service. He calls for "unconscious
self-forgetfulness." Before it was over, I think
John was probably saying, "I am glad the Lord did
not answer my prayer."
How easy it is to get
side tracked off into the oblivion of power,
politics, little personal kingdoms, making people
into prodigies of ourselves, thinking that is what
makes us great in the kingdom. Green-eyed
ministerial jealousy in the kingdom never serves any
good purpose. Opportunities for service is the sign
of growth. When God has prepared our hearts He will
invite us to come and join Him in what He is doing.
Someone has candidly
said, the angels do God's will "without asking any
questions." Another responded, "They must not be
Baptists!" When God speaks we form a committee and
discuss and argue about it for weeks before we get
around to doing it. It will be different in heaven.
The night before the
crucifixion, Judas was exposed for what he was, and
Jesus sent John and Peter to prepare for the
Passover. Jesus gave specific detailed instructions
according to Luke 22. Keep in mind women, not the
men, usually carried the pitcher of water. However,
Jesus told them, "Behold, when you have entered the
city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of
water; follow him into the house that he enters. And
you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The
Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in
which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"'
And he will show you a large furnished upper room;
prepare it there." The amazing thing John discovered
was "they departed and found everything just as He
had told them; and they prepared the Passover" (vv.
10-13). The information Jesus gave was exact and
Can we trust the details
to Him? Are we willing to obey? The critical
question is "Lord, Jesus, where are You at work?
What are you doing in the world about me?" Let's see
if He will not invite us to come and join Him in
what He is doing.
The greatest need of the
disciple is for a greater knowledge of the Teacher
and this mutual knowledge comes only by means of
close discipleship and obedience. It is only those
disciples who are willing to enter into the closest
possible oneness and friendship with Christ will
ever learn His deepest truth and enjoy the most
blessed experiences of His grace. There must be an
intimate fellowship with Christ if we would know,
enjoy, and practice the will of God and realize His
glory in our life.
Love grows through
obedient service to the Master.
While Peter is denying
the Lord Jesus at the trial, John doesn't hesitate
to let it be known that he was "one of this man's
disciples." John could say, "I am not ashamed" of
Christ. "If we are not ashamed of Christ, He will
not be ashamed of us."
John describes the scene
for us in chapter nineteen. "There were standing by
the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's
sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the
disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to
His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then He said
to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from
that hour the disciple took her into his own
household" (19:25-27). Why wasn't Mary placed in the
care of her other sons and daughters? Probably it
was the attitude of the other children toward Jesus.
It does not appear that they were there at the scene
of the crucifixion. They would have been too
embarrassed at the scandal of the cross, or out of
fear for their lives as members of His family. The
rest of His family did not believe on Him until
after the resurrection. John was spiritually
prepared for this special ministry to a hurting
mother, and Jesus gave him the responsibility and
opportunity to serve. John was a committed friend in
time of need.
It took courage for John
to be there when all the rest of the disciples had
left and hid themselves from the authorities because
John grew in his
faith when he saw what was in the empty tomb
John was there and could
testify to the death of Jesus. John took Mary to his
own home and then returned in time to hear Jesus
say, "It is finished!" and bowed His head and give
up His spirit (John 19:30). A couple of verses later
John writes, "And he who has seen has born witness,
and his witness is true; and he knows that he is
telling the truth, so that you also may believe" (v.
35). John was an eye witness to the death. He "has
seen" and it was so vivid that it is still vivid
before his eyes years later as he writes. Pilate
made doubly sure Jesus was dead before releasing the
body to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They took
the body down from the cross and "bound it with
linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial
custom of Jews" and laid it in a new tomb (v.
No one seemed to really
believe that Jesus would rise from the dead, except
perhaps John. He was the first of the disciples to
believe. Let's face it, no one was there at the tomb
waiting for Jesus to rise from the dead and greet
Him! The women returned after the Sabbath on the
first day of the week to continue with the burial
procedures. Mary Magdalene was at the tomb early on
Sunday morning and discovered the stone rolled away
and came to the conclusion that someone had stolen
the body of Jesus. She immediately went and found
Peter and John and they ran to the cemetery. John
tells us that he outran Peter, but when he arrived
at the tomb he just bent over there looking in.
"Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings
lying there; but he did not go in" (v. 5). John bent
over and looked in to get a better look. A natural
feeling of awe would have arrested John (Westcott).
However, Simon Peter went
boldly in, as we would expect. He "came following
him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen
wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had
been on His head, not lying with the linen
wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself" (vv.
6-7). Both of them saw the same evidence, but their
spiritual processes were different. Up to this
moment they had no idea of the resurrection.
"Peter saw all this by
careful scrutiny, but drew no conclusion from the
facts observed. The courageous impulsiveness of
Peter overcame John's timidity so that then he also
went on into the tomb at once without a look or a
John saw precisely what
Peter had already seen, but the result was
different. John at once "believed." John says, "Then
entered in therefore the other disciple also, who
had first come to the tomb, and he saw and believed"
(v. 8). John "saw" means to perceive to the point of
belief and understood what had happened.
What did He "see and
believe"? Certainly not that someone had stolen the
body as Mary had concluded. All the teachings,
observations and experiences of being with Jesus
over the past three years came to a full conviction
that Jesus had risen from the dead.
John especially calls our
attention to the head "napkin," turban or face–cloth
that had been rolled up around the head of Christ.
Why is it singled out for our attention? It is the
convincing proof that launches John's faith in
Christ's resurrection, even before he has had a
chance to see that Jesus was alive with his own
The face–cloth or turban
was rolled up around the head of Jesus like the
bandages wrapped around a person who has sustained a
severe crushing head injury. His whole head was
rolled up with linen as well as the rest of His
body. The reference to "a place by itself" simply
means separate from the rest of the linen cloths
which were used for the body wrapping. What Peter
and John saw as they continued to gaze were the
linen cloths in the actual shape of the body of
Jesus. The wrappings around the head of Jesus
naturally were where the head had lain. The other
cloths were still remaining in the exact place and
shape of the body of Jesus.
Jesus evidently had been
raised from the dead by the power of God during the
night, and had left the linen cloths exactly as
Joseph and Nicodemus had placed the body in the new
John saw the position and
condition of the burial wrappings in the form of the
body in the grave where Jesus had been laid. The
grave wrappings were in the actual shape in which
they had been about His body. The head–cloth was not
unwrapped and folded up nicely and laid aside. It
was exactly where it had been about His head. Every
fold of His grave clothes was unmoved, as it was
around His body. John saw the grave clothes wrapped
as they had been about the body, still there in
place, but the body was gone. It was all the
evidence John saw of the resurrection, but it led
him to be the first disciple to believe that our
Lord had been raised from the dead. His quick mind
processed that Jesus was alive.
John drew an inference
from the orderly arrangement of the head wrapping
that showed that no rude or rough hand had removed
it. Only the living Lord Himself could have thus
slipped out of or passed right through this head
bandage and left it undisturbed. Westcott adds, "The
undisturbed grave-clothes shows that the Lord had
risen through and out of them. The face-cloth
carefully rolled up, the action of the living Lord."
There was no evidence of haste. "The deserted tomb
bore the marks of perfect calm. It was clear,
therefore, that the body had not been stolen by
enemies; it was scarcely less that it had not been
taken away by friends."
This was the most
revolutionary moment in the life of John and Peter.
As Stalker says, "There, standing alone in the tomb
in the morning light, they saw the glory of their
Master as they had not seen it even on the Mount of
Transfiguration. . . "
Robertson reflects on
John's belief, "Here, before he saw the Risen
Christ, he 'believed' that He was alive. In his old
age he cherished this item in his life as one that
gave him joy. He did not wait, like Thomas, for
ocular demonstration before he believed. He believed
Mark tells us Peter soon
received a special message from the Risen Lord (Mark
16:7), and sometime later that day the Lord appeared
to him alone (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
I agree with A. T.
Robertson, "But John anticipated all these proofs
and was the first of the apostles to believe that
the Master was alive. One is entitled to think that
John did not regard the report of the women as 'idle
talk' (Luke 24:11) and did not 'disbelieve' (Mark
16:11) the words of Mary Magdalene. . . the
circumstances that induced belief in John were not
such as to convince the others." John's belief was
growing. The confirmation would come before the day
was over. However, in the mean time "as yet they did
not understand the Scriptures, that He must rise
again from the dead. So the disciples went away
again to their own homes" (vv. 9-10). That night
"his faith became the knowledge of actual
experience" (Robertson). Jesus came and stood "in
the midst" of the disciples (20:19, 26), and later
John recognized Him on the lake while they were
fishing (21:1, 7). This was the greatest day of
John's life. "John saw the glimmer of hope and his
heart leaped in faith to greet it. . . John was the
first of the apostles to revive his faith from the
wreck of their hopes."
We sit back two thousand
years later and wonder why they didn't believe and
expect it because Jesus constantly taught them that
it was going to happen just like this. But lest we
get too cocky what do we really believe about His
Second Coming? Do we live in daily expectation of
His arrival? Since He has told us to be ready for
His appearing, how then should we live?
John grew when he
saw what God did at Pentecost
After Pentecost and the
"one baptism, and many fillings" of John and Peter
by the Holy Spirit the Jewish officials "observed
the confidence of Peter and John, and understood
that they were uneducated and untrained men, they
were marveling and began to recognize them as having
been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). His presence is still
with them. Something evidently had happened to these
men. There was no fear, no hesitation at speaking up
The Holy Spirit
transformed the ordinary and uneducated individual
into able, courageous witness for Christ. His
ministry hasn't changed. Ordinary disciples have
exactly the same experience today. He empowers and
emboldens our witness.
To this apostle was given
the boldest revelation of Christ in all His glory
and majesty in eternity. "Behold, He is coming with
clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who
pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will
mourn over Him. Even so. Amen" (Revelation 1:7). I
don't think for one moment John had any intellectual
problems with that revelation of Christ. Even so,
come Lord Jesus. Even today, come.
THE MESSAGE FOR US
It is a mark of a growing
disciple that he does not want anything that will
interfere with his fellowship and growth in Christ.
The growing disciple can recognize the presence of
the Lord and discern that which interferes with that
rich fellowship. His daily prayer and attitude is,
Lord Jesus, will I see You today?
We learn from John that
in proportion as we obey the Word we are enabled to
understand and apply to our lives still more grace
Campbell Morgan made an
excellent observation on sanctification growth, and
it was true in John's life and it is still true
today in ours. The Holy Spirit is always bringing
the child of God some new vision of Christ. Whenever
a new vision is presented to the trusting soul a new
crisis is created for that soul, and the soul will
either obey and march into larger life, or disobey
and turn backward. The man or woman who has the
largest, fullest knowledge of Christ is the man or
woman who is most conscious that he or she has
hardly yet begun to see His glory. The Holy Spirit .
. . is forever unveiling to the eyes of the
faithful, watching souls the glory of Christ; and as
each new glory is revealed it calls the soul to some
new adventure, to some new sacrifices . . . to some
new area of spiritual growth.
Every response to light
means fuller understanding and enlarged capacity for
further revelation. The true Christian life is a
growth, which finds no maturity in this world; the
ultimate is never reached in this land of shadows.
There is no exhausting of the light and glory and
beauty of Christ, and if he has not startled and
shamed me recently it is because somewhere in the
past I disobeyed and have lost my power to see.
Sanctification is progressive, the Spirit of God is
patiently leading us from point to point in life of
faith and light and love, and forevermore
astonishing us with new unveilings of the glory of
When Christ comes
into our lives, He changes our life from the inside
Do I speak to a son of
thunder? Do you have a fiery, revengeful, "get even
with you" temperament? Do you have a spirit that
needs to be tamed? Is there a need to be transformed
into a loving, forgiving, tolerant and accepting
person? This is the beauty of God's amazing grace in
the believer. You can also become an apostle of
love. It is a long growing process. Yes, new birth
is required. It is the beginning and there should be
immediate change, but it takes time to grow.
The way to position
in the kingdom of God is by way of the cross.
The secret to power is to
die to self. Jesus taught John to keep his focus on
"the Messiah, the Son of God and that believing you
may have life in His name" (John 20:31).
Success in the
kingdom is substituting for the Substitute.
Jesus expressed His
confidence in John when he trusted His mother to
John's care. The son of thunder is full of love and
Our power and
influence for Him will be in exact proportion to our
fellowship with Him.
John learned that
strength and character of our work will never be
greater than our fellowship with the Lord.
God made love
perfect in John
The love of God reaches
its height and crown in the experience of the
believer. In the life of John we see what grace can
do in the life of a sharp-tempered man. Jesus Christ
changed John and it is hard to argue with a changed
man. God did not destroy John's human nature, he
took and deepened and intensified, and sanctified
Go to John
a more detailed examination of this passage.
A Free Gift for You will
give you information on how you can have an intimate
love relationship with Jesus Christ.
Title: John 1:14
"We Beheld His Glory"
Series: People in Life of