A quote from ‘The Beloved Disciple -- Following John to the Heart of Jesus’ by Beth Moore:
“How perfectly appropriate! Right at the foot of the cross we’re about to discover the very quality that set the apostle John apart from all the rest. I am a huge fan of the apostle Peter and can relate to him far more readily than John, but the inspired words the Holy Spirit later entrusted to the Son of Thunder suggest a profound uniqueness. I am reminded of an Old Testament saint about whom God said, ‘But my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.’ God didn’t mean a different Holy Spirit. All we who are redeemed have the same Holy Spirit. God referred to something wonderful about Caleb’s own human spirit that made him unique. I believe John had something similar. These were fallible men prone to the dictates of their own flesh just like the rest of us, but they had something in them that was almost incomparable when overtaken by the Holy Spirit. They were simply different.”
I too can relate to Peter. In fact, there isn’t a single thing I can think of about Peter that I can’t relate to. But it is as though I know John personally... as though I am “standing nearby.”
Later, in the same chapter, my own comments in parenthesis:
“Then comes the question: Will we walk away from Jesus when from human understanding He looks weak and defeated? Do you know what I mean by that question?” (Beth Moore had been discussing the way Jesus looked on the day of His crucifixion. And here, she asks if we will walk away from Him when He looks that way today... weak and defeated. When our lives are in the shambles, our Redeemer can appear to be weak and defeated to human understanding, just like He did that day.)
“What do we do when we can’t explain what Jesus is doing?
Will we remain nearby when He hasn’t stopped a tragedy?
When based on earthly evidence, human reasoning is left to one of two harrowing conclusions: He is either mean or weak.” (Reminds me of that question many ask -- “If God is so good, then why does He let these things happen?”) “Think, beloved, about what I’m saying. Will we cling when our human reasoning implies evil has defeated Him? Or that evil seems to be found in Him?” (Ugh, I’ve been there! Thank God for discernment!) “Will we stand by faith when human logic says run?
That’s what will make us different.”
I’m not halfway finished with Beth Moore’s book and I can already tell you that it’s a must have. I may be able to relate to Peter, but I KNOW John. I know what it is to be different, for faith to defy human logic, to lean fully into Christ when in the depths of a pit... no, not a pit... in the depths of something more grand than the Grand Canyon, only to be set on a Rock whose heights exceed that of the highest mountains. To stare into the face of evil while, at the same time, leaning on Jesus. THAT’S what makes me different! I KNOW John.
I look back to that “canyon” and I’m thankful. That in itself defies human logic. I’m thankful because that tells me there is something unique about my spirit. I might never have known the profound truth behind the fact that His strength is made perfect in weakness, that with God all things are possible, that ye are blessed when men shall hate you for the Son of man’s sake, that neither height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, had I never been in that canyon in the first place. (II Corinthians 12:9, Matthew 19:26, Luke 6:22, Romans 8:38)
I have stood, and will continue to stand on the Rock, despite every “why?” that my flesh can ask. I can do that because I have also looked into the eyes that look back at me and see height for depth, beauty for ashes, strength for weakness, purity for shame, Life for hopelessness, Love for defeat, Light for darkness. I leaned fully into Him in that “canyon”, when He would have appeared at His weakest, (Of course He wasn’t weak!) and I leaned fully into Him on that “mountain.” I’m not moving! I’m “standing nearby.”
‘The Day I Was Crucified’ (ref. book review -- ‘Poetry... From My Tomb’) gave me a deeper understanding of the war fought and won by the One Crucified, of the battle that took place so that death has no sting for me. Whereas, ‘The Beloved Disciple’ has, thus far, given me a clear definition of what it is that sets me apart, why it is that I lean so fully into the One Who Defeated Death, (ref. ‘Article/Dream/Poem... The Beloved Disciple’) and the surprising revelation that I am not so “different” after all because I too “stand nearby.” -- I KNOW John.
God uses Beth, time and again, to plow up the fallow soil in my soul, and be break up the clods keeping the precious breathe of His Spirit from reaching the inner me that needs to much the resuscitating living air of His presence.
Thank you for reviewing Beth's Moore's work. I have walked many a mile with her through her teaching of His Word. I am so thankful that she is an obedient disciple with a deep human touch to reach others. Thank you for highlighting her work on the John and Jesus.