My pastor just finished his sermon series entitled “I Met Jesus” which went through the encounters people had with Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John. Today’s sermon was entitled “They Met Jesus, Have You?”–he went through all the people we had studied and gave a recap description of the way their lives had changed after meeting Jesus. One of the most obvious things from each person is that they were changed dramatically after meeting Jesus. Two of my favorites are Peter and John.
I am His
Peter, the guy famous for saying “I would NEVER deny you, Jesus” who then proceeded to deny Jesus not once, not twice, but THREE times. The man who was quick to act/speak and often slower to think. He may have been quick to lose faith while walking on water, but he was also the only disciple who had the initial faith to get out of the boat and start walking on water. This man ended up being a martyr for Christ. He preached one of the greatest sermons in history (Acts 2). The man who denied Jesus three times (John 18) was then reinstated by Jesus three times (John 21). He went on to write books of the Bible.
“The fact that Peter was clearly forgiven by Jesus and given new responsibilities, amounting to apostleship, despite his total denial of his Lord, can give genuine hope to Christians today who feel that they have denied Jesus and that this is unforgivable. He calls only for our repentance and for our love.”
And I love how Jesus reinstated Peter. One simple question asked three times: Peter, do you love me?
I am His
John. Now, I’ve always had this picture of John as being the opposite of Peter. Where Peter was quick to act and slow to think, John was quick to think and slower to act. John’s the apostle of love, right? The author of 1, 2, and 3 John, which speak of loving one another. The author of the gospel of John, which contains one of the most famous verses in all of the Bible: “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). However, this “apostle of love” had been an arrogant young man who had the audacity to ask Jesus if he should “call down fire” on a Samaritan village that wasn’t welcoming them (Luke 9:51-56). Not only was he ready to kill off a whole village, but he was also confident that fire would reign down from heaven at his command. He had also been a part of the brother pair that made a pretty cocky request to Jesus. Read it for yourself:
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,” they answered.
That’s pretty self-explanatory. And hilariously ridiculous. John and his brother not only want to be #1 and #2 over everyone, but they’re also sure that they can handle everything that Jesus is doing. However, after truly encountering Jesus as his Savior, John changed. He went from being an arrogant young man, deemed as one of the “Sons of the Thunder,” to being the apostle known for love. And here’s my favorite part: he never once mentions his name in his own gospel. I love that. He always refers to himself as “the other disciple” or “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He no longer cared about being seated at the highest position. It wasn’t important anymore. He was the disciple that Jesus loved. And that realization changed him…defined him.
I am His
So here’s my takeaway from those two guys:
I am His
The question that each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves is the question that Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love me?”
Do I love Him?
If we get the answer to that question right, we will get everything else right.
If we get the answer to that question wrong, we will get everything else wrong.
My relationship with Jesus must be more important than anything else in the world because that relationship affects how I do everything else.
I am His
I’ve got to see Jesus for who He truly is before I can understand who I truly am.
JESUS is the Lamb of God.
JESUS is the only way, truth, and life.
JESUS paid my debt.
i am a sinner saved by grace.
i am a child adopted by God.
i am the one whom Jesus loves.
I am His
God’s grace in my life today:
I met Jesus and He changed me forever.
I am forgiven, I am loved, I am His.
What joy comes from knowing Jesus and being known by Him.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
-1 Peter 1:8-9