Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Follow Me

I've been working through a study on John - the disciple of Christ. The other day when I sat down to write I was thinking about what it must have been like for John as he experienced what it was like to walk with Jesus during His ministry on earth. The Gospel of John records the divinely inspired words that John was given to write to record the life and ministry of Jesus. But I got started thinking about what it would have felt like for John - what thought might have been going through his head as he lived this.

The following is my thoughts on what may have been going through John's minds as he experienced what is recorded in Scripture. My thoughts. My reflections on what someone in those situations must have been feeling. I share them to maybe get you to think and reflect on these events in a way you haven't before.

"Follow me," He said.

For some reason I chose to do so, even though I had no idea where we were going. Or even who He was for sure.

I've heard some things about Him. He was a Rabbi. But, why was He calling me?

My friends and my older brother were following Him. I left everything I knew behind to follow Him. Fishing was my life, but now I left the nets to follow Him.

I had no idea where we were going, or what to expect. If I'd known the details of all that was to come, I'm not sure I would have left it all to follow Him. Life was simpler then, as a fisherman. Little did I know how challenging things were about to come as I followed Him where He led.

The next three years of life with Him were filled with many things.

          People healed.
          Sight restored.
          People brought back from the dead.
          Thousands of people fed from just a few loaves and fishes.
          Peter walked on water.

Hard teaching.
          To be great you must be the servant of all.
          Love your enemies.
          You must give it all up to follow me.

Is He really the Messiah like He claims to be?

Why all this talk about Him being betrayed and crucified?

That's not what I was taught as a boy about the promised Messiah.

Sometimes this life following Him is hard. But, there's also something amazing about what I get to be a part of.

There is one night I don't think I'll ever forget.

We ate the Passover meal together. It was then that He told us Judas was going to betray Him - was going to turn Him over the the chief priest and Pharisees to be killed.

But that wasn't the worst of it. He also said that Peter would deny Him three times. I couldn't believe that. I didn't want to believe that. Not Peter! But that's what happened that night.

He was praying when they came fro Him. We were with Him. He didn't fight. He went with them, like He knew He couldn't choose to do anything different.

That was a long night. He stood before the High Priest and then before Pilate. He was sentenced to be crucified at the insistence of the crowds. Like a common criminal, when He had done nothing wrong.

I wanted to leave, but something kept me from doing that. I stood at the cross and watched Him die. With His mother.

I had left everything to follow Him. I was so confused. What would I do now?

As He requested from the cross, I took His mother into my home and cared for her like she was my own. It was the least I could do.

Wait! What's this news I'm hearing?

Mary Magdalene says He isn't in the tomb we placed Him in anymore. How could this be? What happened?

Peter and I raced to the tomb and discovered it really was empty. But, His burial clothes were still there, so no one had just moved His body. I don't understand.

We had become good friends. Those of us who followed Him. We were together when He appeared to us. He really did rise from the dead!

He really is the Messiah!

All that He said is making sense now. He knew it had to be this way. I'm overwhelmed with it all. Why did He choose me to be a part of this? What made me one to be a disciple?

I don't know it all, but this I know:
          He is the Messiah!
          He is the One we were waiting for!
          I'll live the rest of my life proclaiming that truth!

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