Posts Tagged ‘apostle’

Peter: Okay, what are we going to do about Judas?

James: Wha’d’ya mean? Judas took care of himself.

Peter: No, we need to replace him. There are supposed to be 12 apostles, just like the 12 tribes.

James: What? Where did you get that?

Peter: Isn’t that why Jesus called 12 of us, because of the 12 tribes?

James: I thought it was because there were 12 months. Remember how he did the disciple-of-the-month thing? I was February. Mary used magnets and put our pictures on the refrigerator?

Peter: Hmmm. I thought it was the tribes.

Matthew: I though it was because there are 12 people on a jury.

John: I thought we were a dozen, like a box of donuts.

Andrew: No, basketball. 2 squads and 2 referees. I mean, we ruled at the Temple courts.

Peter: Well, whatever. We need to fill Judas’ position.

John: Maybe we ought to wait and see if the Holy Spirit sends us someone.

Peter: I did a close-your-eyes-and-drop-your-finger in Psalms this morning and got these 2 verses:  ‘May his place be deserted and let there be no one to dwell in it’ and ‘may another take his place in leadership.’ That’s gotta mean something.

James: The first on seems to say we shouldn’t, the second seems to say we should. But, I guess I see where you’re coming from.

John: What if Jesus is going to send us someone? He’s the only one who ever picked disciples.

Peter: Well, we have a couple alternates who have been with us from the beginning. Like Joseph or Matthias. Jesus chose you guys, right?

Joseph: Jesus asked me for a towel after his baptism and I’ve been following ever since.

Matthias: Jesus asked the Baptizer who I was ’cause I was standing a little close during one of their conversations. I’ve been following ever since.

James: Okay, Joseph and Matthias have been with us through it all — from Jesus’ baptism through the resurrection. How shall we decide which one?

John: Best 2 of 3, rock-paper-scissors.

Peter: No, we’ll let God decide. Who has the dice? Evens, it’s Joseph, odds, it’s Matthias.

James: Who roles the dice?

John: Roll the dice and whoever’s number comes up roles the dice. If it’s a double-six roll ’em again.

Peter: Here goes…..9! Simon the Zealot! Come on down!

Simon: Here we go…a 5 and a 4….that’s…that’s

John: 9, Odd.

Peter: Welcome to the crew Matthias! Joseph, better luck next time. There’s water melon in the kitchen.

Matthias: So now what?

Peter: Well, from now on if we need to make a decision or something, you get a vote and you’ll be a group leader in the church.

Matthias: I’m already mentoring a group of Greek guys. You know Stephen, right? He’s in the group.

Peter: Yeah, I know Stephen. You’re doing a good job, Matthias. I guess we didn’t know it, but you’ve been an apostle all along.

Tr8: Do your best wherever you are. Follow Christ’s example even when folks aren’t watching — you may be an apostle and don’t know it.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35

I like to think about the flesh-and-blood lives of those who knew Jesus. The Witnesses. The people who saw it all. In their lives we see tr8s of Christ.

2day I’m looking at John. Imagine Jesus and John walking down the road with their arms on each other’s shoulders — close.  John is telling a funny story about Jesus’ cousin nearly drowning a Pharisee in the Jordon.

John was a “hugger” and so was Jesus. They were comfortable with proximity.

John and his older brother, James, were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. Jesus called the brothers “The Sons of Thunder”.  Gospel readers know him as the “disciple Jesus loved”. The Catholic Church refers to him as St. John “The Evangelist”.

Originally, he was just a fisherman with an eye on bigger, spiritual things.

John was probably a follower of John the Baptist with two other brothers, Peter and Andrew. As the story goes, the Baptizer points out his cousin – “There goes the guy who’ll take away the sins of the world” – so John decides to follow him a bit. John followed for a few days as disciple-on-loan from Cousin John. Then, he went back to fishing. Later, Jesus officially calls the brothers out at the lake.

In the lists of the Apostles John is always in the top four — usually third, after Peter and his older brother, James. These three were Jesus’ inner circle and were the only witnesses of the raising of Jairus’s daughter, the Transfiguration and Jesus’ night of prayer at Gethsemane.

James, John, and their mother, Salome, were positioned powerfully in Jesus entourage. At one point Salome drags her sons to Jesus and they ask to be his left- and right-hand guys – his capos.  I suspect Jesus smiled.

John and Peter were sent to prepare for the Last Supper. At the supper John sits next to Christ and leans n2 him. John was comfortable in his own skin and was a rel8er — probably an emotional guy. As a “Son of Thunder” I’m guessing people kept their distance.  As a disciple John appears a “hugger” and a team-builder. I imagine he was the kind of guy who would throw his arm over your shoulder and whisper something funny in your ear. He and Barnabas, “the Encourager”, were probably close friends.

John was the “other disciple” (besides Peter) who followed Christ after his arrest n2 the high-priest’s palace. He was bold. He was confident. He knew people in the household, naming two in his gospel. He had none of Peter’s misgivings in the courts. Peter lingers at the gate. John went in. John remembered names.

John was the only disciple to remain with Jesus all the way to the cross. He protected protected and cared for the women who were mourning. Jesus entrusted him with his mother. John cared for Mary from that point forward even though she had other sons and daughters.

After Jesus rose, John ran ahead of Peter to the get to the tomb first get to the tomb. He was the first to believe. He was also one of the first to recognize Jesus back at the lake after a night of fishing with the boys.

After Christ’s ascension Peter and John guided the first church. In Acts, Peter and John are the first to return to the Temple to preach, where they heal a man lame from birth. He and Peter are reprimanded and  flogged. Together and they visit the new converts in Samaria.

John probably stayed in Jerusalem for a dozen years – until Herod Agrippa killed his older brother (Acts 12:2). John goes into Asia Minor and sets up shop in Ephesus, taking Mary, Jesus’ mother, with him.

Can you imagine those conversations?

John returns with the other disciples to Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Council around 51 A.D. John returned to Ephesus a few years later.

Justin Martyr refers to “John, one of the Apostles of Christ” who lived “with us” in Ephesus. Irenæus says John wrote his gospel in Ephesus and lived there until the reign of Trajan. According to Eusebius, during the reign of Domitian John is exiled to Patmos, an island south of Ephesus. Tertullian wrote John was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil near the Latin Gate in Rome and survived without injury. After Domitian’s death John returned to Ephesus and died around 100 A.D. of old age. Tradition says John refused to stay under the same roof with a guy named Cerithus. Wonder what that was about. He also was worried about a youth who had become a robber. He mentored Polycarp, who was a second generation martyr.

In his declining years he was said to repeat, “Little children, love one another!”

Tr8: Love one another.