“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NASB95)
How does one go from being known as one of the “Sons of Thunder” to the “Apostle of Love”? I’ll tell you how: he was with Jesus! The apostle went from catching fish to catching people, from casting a line to casting love. He clearly understood the beautiful balance of grace and truth.
It’s likely that John was quite a firecracker in his before-Jesus days. As a typical fisherman he would have been rough and weathered and most likely just fine without bathing for days on end! I don’t want to put a description on him that isn’t accurate but my guess is that he wasn’t a people magnet when Jesus beckoned, “Come, follow Me.”
There are many mysteries in Scripture. One that has always peaked my interest is how spending time with Jesus in God’s Word truly changes a person. Becoming more loving is automatic. It’s not something we can do on our own but sincerely walking with Jesus does it for us and through us. John must have understood that.
Being a disciple of Jesus on those dusty roads of Judea would have consisted of a lot of walking and a lot of talking down the road of life. It’s no different for us. The more we walk and talk with Him, the more His love flows through us. We’re no longer a bucket of water that quenches His fire but a spring of water that overflows His love and draws others to His life-giving water.
Living It Out – John said that loving others is a gauge of our relationship with Jesus. Read through 1 John 4 and make a list of what a Jesus follower looks like. How does your love line up with that?