Monday, 21 March 2016

What Being With Jesus Can Do

Being with the Lord Jesus changes us.

Joel Kontinen

The Bible often discloses profound truths in just a few words. When Luke described a difficult ordeal that the early disciples faced in Jerusalem, he mentions a small detail in connection to their arrest. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection and they did not tolerate those who did and put the apostles behind bars but they were in for a surprise: ”Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NKJV).

Even the Sadducees realised that Peter and John had been with Jesus.

Like Peter and many others, the apostle John took a very long spiritual journey. Jesus gave him and his brother James the name Boanerges, ’Sons of Thunder’ (Mark 3:17), which might say something about his temper. John for instance wanted to call down fire from heaven to punish a Samaritan village that refused to welcome Jesus and His disciples (Luke 9:51–56). Furthermore, he was obviously very ambitious as he wanted to be exalted above the other disciples to become a co-ruler in the Messianic Kingdom of Israel (Mark 10:35–37).

Yet, when as an older man he penned his Gospel, there were no traces of the old Boanerges spirit left in his writing. The Son of Thunder saw himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 20:2). The Lord did not single out one disciple as the sole object of his love, however. It is more probable that John used this phrase because he realised that Jesus loved him in spite of his temper and his occasional thunderstorms.

And, as Luke suggests, even Sadducees, the skeptics of his day, realised that John had been with Jesus. Being with Him changed the Beloved Disciple, and it can change me and you, also. The apostle Paul, who was transformed from a persecutor into a saint, said that those who are in Christ are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). The Creator, Jesus Christ, transforms us. The more we are with Him, the more we become like Him. Thunderstorms can give way for rays of bright sunshine.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18: ”But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”