a life refined

2021 blog series: exploring the stories of men and women in the New Testament

(#2): JOHN (the disciple JESUS loved)

True confessions: I have always thought of Peter as the impetuous, bold and unpredictable disciple, and John as the quiet, pensive, wise one. But reading a few passages again, it dawned on me that they may have been more alike in the beginning than I realized.

John and his brother James, like Peter, were fisherman, called by JESUS to follow Him and become fishers of men. They were known as the “Sons of Thunder” and had their own moments of blurting out comments or questions that caused quite a stir.

But it was these three men that JESUS took with Him, aside from the others, to witness glimpses of His healing power, His timeless majesty, and His reliance on the Father in prayer. The LORD knew the plans He had for each of them:

  • to retrain their boisterous tendencies into bold resolve for truth,
  • to soften their passion into compassion for the lost and for His church,
  • to lead them to the Father’s heart where wisdom was imparted and strength was infused,
  • and to give them a broadening vision of the glory to come that would carry them through the toughest days of trial and persecution.

A few weeks ago, I thought a lot about the transformation in Mary Magdalene’s life. Today, I enjoyed She Reads Truth’s Melanie Rainer’s comments about John:

“Throughout the Gospels, we read of John’s own transformation from fisherman to follower of JESUS, from power-seeking to power-giving, testifying to JESUS’s lordship, “so that [others] may also have fellowship… with the Father and with his Son, JESUS CHRIST” (1 John 1:2–3). Transformed by that fellowship, he became one of the New Testament’s most prolific writers, receiving GOD’s revelation of the future, fully realized kingdom of GOD (Revelation 1:9–11).”

The LORD had big plans for all three of these men. He loved them deeply. He poured into them. Rough fisherman drawn into His inner circle. Hearts that responded to His transforming work. Lives mightily used to draw others to the Savior.

I wonder what changes the LORD still hopes to make in my heart, in my life?  Am I intentional about asking Him?  Am I open and eager to receive a different vision for my purpose on earth?  To speak a different message, express it in a different way, to more accurately and passionately reflect the heart of the LORD JESUS?

And when my momma heart frets about rough edges in my own kids, may I pray harder that the LORD will draw them close, too, and mold all of us into faithful followers and bold witness for Him!

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere. Acts 1:8

Read more here:  Mark 9:1-8Mark 10:35-451 John 1:1-4Revelation 1:9-20

follow the links below to read more from the original study in summer of 2020 with She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth:

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