Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Which John are You?

3rd John 13-14 NIV

“I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.”

A couple of millenniums ago a man named John shared his ideas and feelings with friends in several letters. He had many more things to say and, unable to express all his thoughts in writing, John made plans to see them “face to face.” The anticipation of a reunion with old friends made him feel warm inside. He visualized greeting each one “by name.” They would spend many hours just talking. What joy this brought to John’s heart.

Compare John of the Bible with today’s  John. This John is too busy to see his friends. He has important work to do. He loves his friends but duty calls. He must sacrifice their time together for now. Instead of paying a visit, he’ll make a few quick phone calls (hoping to get voice mail), fire off a couple of emails or texts, and call it good. Down deep Modern Day John is afraid to make a connection with people. They might require something of him. He is well acquainted with his own inadequacy and knows the limitation of his capacity to love. He’s been hurt by so-called friends in the past. He will not make that mistake again.

Instead, this John throws himself into his work with total abandon. Modern John is addicted to success. Work is predictable and much easier than relationships. John is a successful businessman and writes a couple of books. He even makes public appearances. John becomes a celebrity but he is lonely. No one really knows him. He wants friends. He wants to be known, but doesn’t know how. 

The kids grow up and leave home. His wife leaves him. Work is his only real friend now. It will always be there. Modern Day John nurtures his relationship with work seven days a week. Weeks turn into years. The public eventually forgets all about John. Modern Day John dies and hardly anyone notices. His memorial service is sparsely attended. Just a few folks from the office, and the kids he hasn’t seen in years.

Modern John always intended to get together with his friends and family... later when he had more time. But “later” and “more time” never came. Modern Day John should have taken his cue from John of the Bible. Bible John had real work to do. The work of relationships. This John dedicated himself to the friends he loved. He made new friends and loved them too. John of the Bible found Jesus in the people he met. They found Jesus in him. They all found eternal joy in the time they spent together before they parted for the last time. Bible John’s funeral was preached to a packed house. He left a  legacy. 

“I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”
2nd John 12b

“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The
friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.”
3rd John 14


The cartoon images above from "OnLineHugs.com" (http://www.onlinehugs.com/).


Anonymous said...

Man, isn't that the battle? Getting through what the world demands of us so we can get to what our family and friends need from us. Have spent many years trying to find that happy balance.

My thoughts on 3 John are a carry over from the prior post for 2 John.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

Last Sunday night was a water shed moment for the Murphy family. We had our first ever family bible study. All three children were actually excited and they are looking forward to inserting this new time into our other Sunday traditions. I feel so blessed to have been given three beautiful daughters to raise. (Granted, I was never able to use the name: "Connor Patrick Murphy" as I had intended.) My friends at work call me: "The X Factor" for obvious biological reasons.

Have a great Wednesday, Dave.


Dave's Bible Blog said...

Good words X Factor!

Anonymous said...


How fitting this post is... LOL Thanks for your call today.. You are my Friend for life, GOD blessed me the day we met!!!

Love ya Brother, Dan

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks, Dan. I consider you a friend for life too.