Daily Thought for: 28th September

JOHN THE DISCIPLE

Mark 9. 1-10; 14. 32-42

Jesus had many followers during His earthly ministry from whom He chose a group of twelve to be His close companions. All were His ‘disciples’, a word which means ‘learner’, but the twelve, as they lived with the Saviour, watched His life and heard His words, they, especially, learned to be like Him in character. 

Of the twelve, three were particularly close to the Lord and were allowed to witness certain events that others did not see. These were Peter, James and John and only they saw Jesus raise to life a girl of twelve, the only daughter of Jairus. Similarly, as our readings today indicate, the trio also had the privilege of seeing two other events. The first revealed the glory of the Lord, while the second showed His passion. The first took place on a mountain (possibly Mount Hermon) while the latter took place at the foot of the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

On the mountain Jesus was transfigured. For a while His glory was displayed and He was dazzling in radiant whiteness. He was joined by two outstanding Old Testament figures, Elijah who represented the prophets and Moses who reminds us of the law of God. Their conversation centred upon the most important event to come which was the death of Christ. 

The incident filled the disciples with fear, especially when they heard the voice of God giving approval to the Son. However, such a vision of Christ and confirmation from God would help sustain them in the difficult days ahead. 

In Gethsemane’s garden Jesus engaged in prayer. He knew that events were moving to their culmination and that soon He would be paying the ultimate price and fulfilling the purpose for which He had come to earth. The prospect was utterly terrible and during His prayer such was His anguish that His sweat was blood-like. Yet He yielded to His Father’s will; it demonstrated His love, both for His Father and for us. 

John always had that sense of being deeply loved by Christ and refers to himself throughout his Gospel as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. This did not mean that the other disciples were loved any less, but the one characteristic of the Saviour that impressed John above all else was His wonderful love. 

 

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