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Deb and me after a recent Revival Service



john the apostle, his life and ministry:

Anytime a Christian is "growing" in the Lord, certain "dangers" to his progress will surface. The devil sees to that! Or maybe it's our flesh, really, behind the "plot." Or just the depraved world system in which we live. Or a combination of them all!

"Pitfalls" on the road to maturity!

John himself faced two or three of these "perils."

Here's the first, with the others coming tomorrow. Luke records the situation for us. "Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." Luke 9:46-48

A desire to be "greatest!"

The followers of Jesus actually murmured over this issue! The word "reasoning" translates the Greek noun "dialogismos." Basically it's our word "dialogue." It means "talking" sort of "back and forth" among yourselves, when applied to a group. From "one" man to "another" man ... nearly arguing at times!

At another time John's Mother, thus James' Mother too, since they were brothers ... asked of Jesus this prime "reward!" Matthew 20:20-24 relates the event. "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren."


These two boys (our hero John included) were "in" on this bold request, too. They wanted to be "first" among the disciples! Among everybody ever to be saved!

Sitting on the Lord's Right and Left Hand respectively is as "high" as one can get ... in relation to a King anyway!

John wanted to be "greatest!"

John wanted the "Right Hand!"

In fact, John did get to lean on Jesus' Breast! I'm now hoping he didn't "push" his way there!


Folks, here's a "rough place" on John's soul, his character, that must be "smoothed" before he can grow much further in the Lord.

Pride, greediness, that old "better-than-thou" attitude ... all are "death" to spiritual maturity!

In the first instance recorded above Jesus encouraged "humility" upon His Disciples, like a little child possesses.

In the second case our Lord said to give such a thing was not His prerogative, but His Father's in Heaven!

Plus, such self-centeredness engenders "strife" among the brethren. It did above, where the words "moved with indignation" mean "to be very displeased," or "much grieved!"

One of the beauties of studying John's life is this ... watching this "pride" melt away and genuine "humility" grow in its place!

This is, after all, the John who later writes: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." First John 4:7

And, by the way, this is the same John who so carefully records in his Gospel the event of Jesus washing the disciples feet! Matthew, Mark and Luke do not tell us about this occasion.

There, in John 13, of all places ... I'm pretty sure John learned that "greatness" comes through "service." Not by arguing over "first place!" What humility, Jesus with a towel ... bathing filthy feet!

John, were you watching? How did you feel when He came to your feet? I suspect thoughts of "first place" have now evaporated! John was indeed a good learner.

And now ... he's growing again!

                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


To read yesterday's "John, A Disciple's Life Story" Lesson ... just visit HERE on the Website.

Also to read all the just completed Psalm 43 Lessons ... just "click" HERE ... to be linked to that particular Archive page.

To review all the recently completed Lessons on "The Psalms for the Sons of Korah," just visit HERE on the Website. This Study just "exploded" with meaning and insight! I'd love to preach a whole week's Revival on these men and their Psalms!

And to study any of our other Bible Expositions, visit the SITE MAP Page. There you will find over twelve years of Verse-by-Verse work. Generally speaking, the older lessons are nearer the top of the Page and the newer lessons closer to the bottom.



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