john the apostle, his life and
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!
on the road to maturity!
faced two or three of these "perils."
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
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!
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
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!
the Lord's Right and Left Hand respectively is as "high" as one
can get ... in relation to a King anyway!
to be "greatest!"
the "Right Hand!"
In fact, John
did get to lean on Jesus' Breast! I'm now hoping he didn't
"push" his way there!
a "rough place" on John's soul, his character, that must be
"smoothed" before he can grow much further in the Lord.
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!
self-centeredness engenders "strife" among the brethren. It did
above, where the words "moved with
indignation" mean "to be very displeased," or "much
One of the
beauties of studying John's life is this ... watching this
"pride" melt away and genuine "humility" grow in its place!
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.
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
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
yesterday's "John, A Disciple's Life Story" Lesson ...
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