To Be Like John

There is a ridiculous amount of quizzes on the Internet these days. They cover everything from what 80s hair band are you to what 90s tv character to what decade should you be living in to what Disney character are you. They are everywhere, and if you are on Facebook, your news feed is probably full with the answers your friends have gotten.

More often than not, I just scroll past these posts. Sometimes I’ll see one that seems so silly I can’t help but click on the link and spend the five minutes to see what result I get. I follow that up with just closing the screen, feeling no need to share the results with the rest of the world.

This week one caught my eye. It was “Which One of Jesus’ Disciples Are You?” I couldn’t help myself. I went to the website and took the quiz. And even stranger than me going and taking the quiz, I’m going to share the results with you.

Lets be honest here. Off the top of my head, I cannot name all 12 disciples. And even if I could come up with all the right names, I couldn’t tell you something about all of them. I know Matthew, the tax collector, and Judas, the betrayer. There’s Peter, the fisherman, and Thomas, the doubter. The list of disciples I can name concludes with John, who wrote Revelation, his brother, James and Peter’s brother, Andrew. The names that I had to look up are Philip, Bartholomew, Jude, Simon and James.

So I took the quiz. According to it, I’m most like John. Here is the summary:

 

Like John, you are a deeply spiritual and emotional person. You are a keen observer of relationships and personal character, often seeing connections and patterns that others miss. You are an imaginative dreamer with a strong grasp of spiritual matters and the purpose of human existence. You can also be extremely dedicated and loving.

However, like John, you may have a fierce nature. Like a true “Son of Thunder” you may be prone to believe that your spiritual intuition elevates you above others. You may see yourself as morally superior to those less spiritually attuned than you. This is a side of yourself you must temper with love and understanding.

Your role as a disciple of Christ is one of a visionary or prophet. You speak the truth as you see it, even if it can’t be proven or isn’t popular. Others may see you as mystical or possessing a connection with Christ that goes beyond their comprehension. Yet, in your most honest moments, you know that your greatest strength lies not in your love for Christ, but in His love for you.

Bonus– The Biblical woman who beat matches your personality is Mary sister of Lazarus and Martha.”

 

I read through the summary, and it felt pretty accurate. I am deeply emotional and spiritual. I am a dreamer. I am dedicated and loving. I absolutely speak the truth as I see it even if it can’t be proven or isn’t popular. I definitely know that my greatest strength comes for Christ’s love for me.

On the other hand, I would be shocked if anyone saw me as “mystical or possessing a connection with Christ that goes beyond their understanding.” And I certainly hope I don’t see myself as being morally superior to others.

I do love the bonus at the end with my female counterpart being Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha. Mary infuriated her sister as she sat at Jesus’  feet listening to Him teach rather than helping get thing around. (Luke 10:38-42)  Mary used expensive oil (or perfume) to wash Jesus’ feet and used her hair to dry them.  (John 12:1-8) She is the believer that I would like to be.

 

But back to John. You can see his emotions in the books of the Bible he wrote. The gospel of John includes some of my favorite Bible verse, including 11:35, “Jesus wept.” and 21:25, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” And maybe the best description of Jesus, 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And, of course, the most well-known Bible verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

John was one of only three disciples who were with Jesus when He brought Jairus’ daughter back from the dead. (Luke 8:40-56). It was John whom Jesus told to care for His mother. (John 19:25-27) John is repeatedly referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 21:7) And it was John, with Peter, that went into the tomb that most amazing Sunday morning and found Jesus gone. (John 20:1-10)

John also wrote first, second and third John. The first being a defense of Jesus as false prophets filled the early churches. It is filled with examples of Jesus’ love for us and how we are to love each other. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)

Through out the book, John refers to the readers as “little children” for Jesus told us we must have a childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:13-15) and because we are all children of God. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

The second and third epistles of John are both just a chapter long. They are written to specific people (although second John is address to “the elect lady and her children” and the is much debate about who she is). They are filled with love, truth and warnings against false prophets. I would definitely recommend you all read John’s three letters.

John also wrote the final book of the Bible, Revelation. It is the book of prophecy of the end of times. John was trusted to share with all of us what the end will look like and the knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, that Jesus always wins. When the hour comes, victory is His. Revelation also serves as a reminder to us that Jesus is coming quickly so we must be prepared. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

So I would be very happy to be John-like in my faith and my actions, although however “John-like” I may be I doubt anyone has ever had that thought. It was fun for me to take the quiz and then to take the time to really dig into the biblical information we have on John. Honestly, there is only one disciple that I wouldn’t want to be identified with.  You can find the survey here and I’d love for you to come back and share your results in the comments if you do take it.

I’ll leave you with the words John used to close Revelation, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (22:21)

 

 

 

This is what happens when you just flip open your bible

I was in the mood to write tonight, but I didn’t have anything burning to write about. Since I mostly write about my faith, I decided to just open my bible and see where God led me. I flipped my bible open to the New Testament and landed at Philippians 1.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have in my heart, inasmuch as in both my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:3-8

This feels like a timely scripture. It describes how I feel about all of you who take the time to read my words. For some of you, it is vague. Some of you, I don’t know or I do know, but I don’t know that you read this.

Some of you, it is specific. I pray for you by name. I think of you always. My best memories include you. You are my life and my love.

And I do greatly long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

Having a blog is a very strange experience. It’s a place where I write for myself. I write when I feel led, when I have something to say. And then a crazy thing happens.

You read it.

And it amazes me every time.

Now I know that it doesn’t matter what I write, my mom is going to read it. It could be just a bunch of random words, and she’ll click on it every time, along with my grandparents.

But the rest of you? You take the time to read this. You don’t have to and chances are high that I’ll never ask you if you’ve read it. But you do and this scripture made me think specifically of you that I don’t know (or know but don’t know read this) and my closest friend in Nashville.

So that was my first thought on this scripture. My second thought was on “being confidant of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

God has begun a good work in all of us and will continue to until the day Jesus comes to take us home. God has a plan bigger than me and you. God’s plan is so big we can’t even begin to fathom it. I know that he is working in me, and I know he is working in you whether you know it or not.

I know that everything that happens God is using for his plan. My part in God’s plan is so big in our terms that I can’t see it and so small in God’s terms that it’s hard to believe that I matter.

But I do matter. And you matter, too, whether you believe or not.

God is using us all, and we are all an important part of His master plan. And His plan is so big, you don’t have any idea what part you are playing.

I pray that you all know you are a part of God’s master plan. I pray you know the amazing power of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being part of my part of God’s master plan.

This passage made me think of you all so I shared it with you. If it brings someone to your mind, I hope you reach out to them, even if it’s in a really vague way like this.