The disciple that Jesus loved. That is how John referred to himself. The name itself means the grace or mercy of the Lord. John’s gospel is different in that he was out to prove the absolute deity of Jesus. Unlike the other gospels, John also presents Jesus’ character through many names:
- Bread of Life (John 6:25)
- Light of the World (John 8:12)
- Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)
- Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
- The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6)
- True Vine (John 15:1-17)
We must believe these things, not only in these things. And to believe means that we accept something as true. We have faith that these things are true. Believing Christ, and what He did for us, is truly the only way in which we can have a relationship with Him. We all believe in a lot of things, but you have to go beyond that and believe in what has been done for us if you want your relationship with God to grow and flourish.
John’s gospel speaks a lot about the peace that Jesus brings. One of the reflection questions is to explain the difference between peace of this world, and the peace of Jesus. As I thought about that and tried to compare the two, I came to a very quick conclusion. What peace does the world even offer me, and should I really be trying to find peace in the world?
A quick scan of the latest headlines, or the tuning to a news channel will show you all the unrest in this world. When did a newscast ever start off with a story of peace in the world, or even peace in your local city? Just today, I awoke to learn that there was an avalanche on Mount Everest. Several dead and more feared dead. There’s all the unrest between Ukraine and Russia. There was a shooting in a nearby city where I live…the eleventh since April 1st.
Maybe I find worldly peace while sitting quietly and reading a book, or working on my latest knitting project. Maybe a mid day nap brings some worldly peace in the confines of my home. But there is one huge flaw in all of those things….they don’t stay. Even if they bring a moment or two of peace, it’s so temporary. And that’s the key word: temporary. Worldly peace is temporary. There’s nothing to sustain me. There’s no hope in the peace of this world. I may think I have it, but it’s quickly no where to be found. And I’m left looking for more.
Now, the peace that Jesus brings, is a peace that is inside of me and a peace that once you have it, it will never leave you. That peace comes from the Holy Spirit.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27
With the peace of Jesus, we are connected forever to Him…eternity! And although there will be many things that will try to rob you of that peace, there is absolutely nothing that can. We have no need to let our heart be troubled or afraid. Jesus and His peace are always present within us. And it is enough for us…if we believe.
I find that peace the most when I sit down to read a daily devotional, write in my journal or blog, but I feel it the most when I pray and talk to God. It’s in that moment that I realize we have a God that says, come to me…as you are…just talk to me. That thought alone should be much peace. And that peace never goes away.
The gospel of John allows me to see Jesus in the way Jesus wants me to see Him. Through the peace He left me as He died on the cross for me.
I started this post saying that John was the disciple that Jesus loved. Well, we are all disciples that Jesus loves! John just recognized it, believed it, and spoke it for the whole world to hear. He too was setting an example for us. Believe it. Shout it. Jesus loves us!
Of all the words that John wrote, I love how he opens his gospel, so I leave you with those words, and it is my prayer that they bring you much peace.
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
God spoke so that I could receive the gift of peace which will be with me for eternity.