The three things that stood out to me in the Gospel of John were
3:30 “He must increase, I must decrease”. I posted something last week about this passage. These six words really challenged me in my desire for God’s glory. When someone asks me now what the meaning of life is, or what my life purpose is, I say rather flippantly something like: “to give glory to God”. But I know in my heart this isn’t my real passion. The thing is, a few years back it was. So this passage reminded me that this needs to be restored.
My prayer this week has mainly been “God please restore this passion for Your glory. Let me seek to live every moment in a way that will allow you to increase and me to increase”. The thing is I know how to tell stories in ways, or bring conversations around that eventually the topic will highlight one of my good deeds or great disciplines etc. I want my mindset to be, how can what I say and what I do bring glory to God.
18:22 & 19:4-5 . In the first verse, Jesus is slapped in the face and scorned that “How dare you speak to the High Priest like that?!”. (The irony is, within a few days Jesus will become the High Priest, of a new and better covenant!) In chapter 19, we see Jesus clothed mockingly in a purple robe with a crown of thorns on His head, IN FRONT of an audience. I didn’t realize this before, that the humiliating outfit wasn’t just in front of the soldiers but His accusers.
When I think about this level of humiliation, I realize the cross wasn’t just about pain and physical sacrifice, but about shame and disgrace. Jesus went through humiliation and shame for me. Not only does this make me so much more grateful for the cross. But also challenges me in my approach to dignity and self-image. If Jesus was willing to let that stuff go for me, I want to be willing to let that stuff go for Him.
21:7. In this verse, we have the disciples in a boat after Jesus is killed. And then they spot Jesus on the shore risen from the grave. The rest of the disciple’s turn the ship around and start heading back to shore. But not Peter, this guy JUMPS out of the boat and swims back as soon as he realizes it’s Jesus.
I want to be that kind of follower of Jesus. Even if other Christians show more restraint and think it is a little bit too much. I want to be the one who whatever the cost, jumps out of the boat for Jesus – even if that means getting symbolically (or literally) wet. Too often on a Sunday morning I don’t raise my hands or shout loud, when I am filled with praise for God, because no one else is and it seems different. Well Lord, help me to respond to You like Peter.