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John's Joy

"That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled,
concerning the Word of life-"
1 John 1:1
The day Jesus walked into John’s life, was the day John’s life changed forever. His life no longer meant anything; it was now all about Jesus, his Lord, his Master, his Messiah. John had probably heard about the coming Messiah from Peter and Andrew, but never expected the Messiah to come to his home town, much less for the Messiah to call out his name. When Jesus spoke John’s name, immediately, Scriptures tell us, John dropped his net and followed Jesus. He didn’t say, ‘Hold on a minute, I need to finish getting in this net,” or “let me check my schedule, next week might be a better time for me,” or “how much are you paying and what kind of benefits are you offering?” John said nothing; he asked nothing. Immediately, do you get that, immediately he dropped what he was doing and he followed Jesus.

Oh, that we would have a heart so full of love and devotion for Christ, that we would drop everything we are doing, the kid’s ballgames, dance lessons, the laundry, the dinner plans with the neighbors, the great paying job we waited all our life to get, the world as we’ve always known it and immediately follow Christ. John did just that and the joy from that first step of obedience never left his heart. Fifty plus years later, he still remembered what it was like to walk right beside Jesus day after day, witness miracle after miracle, have intimate conversations with His Lord, learn some very valuable life lessons from Jesus, watch as His Savior was crucified on the cross, and run to the tomb on the third day only to find it empty because His Messiah had risen.

John knew what it was to hear his Master speak and to hold on to His every word. He beheld the magnificent glory of his Lord while sitting at His feet. He had touched, with his own hands, the physical body of the Lamb of God that was sacrificed for him. John followed Jesus day after day anticipating a new revelation from His Lord and he was never disappointed. John KNEW Jesus.

I can just imagine that as John sat writing this epistle his eyes welled up with tears. “How good it was to sit at my Master’s feet. How undeserving I am that He chose me to follow Him. What a true honor it is to be a servant of the Almighty God. Oh, that I may be found pleasing in the eyes of my Savior.” The joy of John’s salvation had never left his heart. He never forgot all that Christ had done for him. His life with Christ was not just a “good time” that happened years ago and now was tucked away on a shelf collecting dust. Christ WAS his LIFE. He lived and breathed the very One who had breathed life into him. John knew what it was to suffer for Christ. But suffering didn’t matter to him because he knew he was doing what God had called him to do. He LOVED God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.

In the original language of Scripture the Greek word for "looked" is theaomai, meaning to behold, perceive, gaze at, to look closely at, to visit. From this Greek word we get the English word theater. Think about this with me for a moment. What do you do when you go to a theater? You go in, find a nice comfy seat, get settled in, and wait, expecting to see a good movie. You don't leave until the movie is over. Your eyes stay focused on the screen watching every minute of the movie, soaking it all in. This was exactly John's experience with Jesus. He had sat at the feet of Jesus, gazing intently into the eyes of the Messiah, soaking up every word that flowed from the mouth of the Word made flesh. Those memories never left his mind or heart; he clung to them because they were his life source.

I wonder, do you remember the day you were saved? Do you still live in that moment or has it been lost? What does your salvation mean to you? When was the last time you sat at the feet of Jesus, gazed into His eyes, and waited there until you heard a word from Him? When was the last time you searched for something from God or even for God Himself? Have you taken your salvation for granted? Is it just “fire insurance” to you?

Precious Father, may we never lose the joy of our salvation. Keep us ever close to the cross. Help us to understand and never take for granted what you did for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving us. We love you. Amen.

4 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Victoria said...

"He lived and breathed the very One who had breathed life into him."

What a beautiful way to look at how we should be living! Can't wait to share that!

Dotwigg said...

Awesome post! I love this passage, the new insight is great. I love it when you provide the greek translations, they add so much to understanding the text but can be confusing to look up.

Also, love the new look of the blog. :)

Named Alicia said...

Beautiful! May I be like John and immediately follow my Jesus! I often think about John, "the one Jesus loved", the one who leaned against Jesus at the Last Supper. I would like to have known him.

Thanks for sharing my friend!

Jenifer said...

Can you just imagine the talks Jesus and John had!?! Oh, to have been a bug on the wall. But, you and I can have those intimate conversations with the One who breathed life into us as well. Just take a seat at His feet and listen.