Becoming a Disciple (3/3) – Apostle John

“Jesus causes us to care for others”

1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”  disappointed

We live in a world that loves to play the victim.  We say something horrible happened to me and now I have a right to be mad or complain or pitch a fit.  Our world says being angry, getting mad, having things to complain about makes you the victim to be catered to or the one on the right side of some moral issue.  I was talking to someone the other day who said, “If I didn’t complain what else would I talk about.”  You go to Youtube and videos of people getting angry are numerous with millions of views to their credit.

It is easy to play into some of these stereotypes because we get attention or it makes us feel good or we can let off steam.  But is this how we are called to act.  Action – Reaction.  Something happens to us and we automatically respond with the first thing that comes to mind?  Well, if you are that type of person you would fit right in with one of the apostles:  John, the guy who wrote the gospel of John and 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation. 

Read Luke 9:46-55

Notice a few things about John here:

– John wanted to be the greatest (Mark 10:35-40) He was looking out for number one and he didn’t care who he had to step over to do it.

– Wanted to have a limited circle to feel elite.  He did not care if others were being served he wanted God’s power to be controlled by a few.

– Huge anger issues.  This can’t be overstated enough.  He wanted to kill and wipeout an entire village because they did not accept Jesus. 

Then read how John changed when he wrote 1 John 3:16-18, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

– Went from being about me to others, went from amassing things for himself to giving them to others.  Instead of wanting to be the greatest he says “we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

– Went from limited circle to feel elite, Now he wants to open this movement to everyone and everyone join in.  He calls on everyone to share with anyone who has a need.  John invites all to be a part of this Jesus movement.

– Huge anger issues, Now his main concern is to love others!  John calls us to love with word and deed.

How did he make such a huge transition???

The answer is in v. 16 – He was changed by Jesus.  Over time he saw the love of Jesus and Jesus’ ultimate act of love on the cross and he caused him to be changed and transformed.

2 Things to learn from this story:

– Anyone can be a close follower of Jesus.  John was pretty messed up and Jesus wanted him to be his apostle.  Look at all that was wrong with John and Jesus still called him to follow Jesus.  Even with all your mistakes and baggage, Jesus still wants you!

– You might be angry or mad or always complaining but instead of focusing on ourselves I believe God wants us to focus on others.  John was all about himself and then he changed and focused on others.

So spend time with Jesus and let him transform you!

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