Wow, when I started reading the chapter of John, my first thought was that there is way too much stuff to be able to go through a chapter a day. The Scriptures are so rich and I find that because I have read or heard them so many times, I frequently just do a cursory reading, thinking that I know what it says. I am deliberately choosing not to use commentaries or outside resources and only focusing on the what the Word says to me.
I started by writing a math equation. Jesus=
Then I followed through by writing in things that I saw each verse to be saying about Jesus.
This is what I came up with:
the Word vs. 1
God vs 1
Creator vs. 3
life vs. 4
Victor verse 5 says that the light is not overcome by darkness or in other words, the light is the Victor. Light overcomes darkness.
light vs 8-9
enlightener vs9 Jesus will enlight everyone
flesh that dwelt among us vs 14
Son of God vs14
*full of grace and truth vs17
revealer of God vs18
Lamb of God vs 29
Sin eradicator vs. 29
baptizer (with the Holy Spirit) vs. 33
Teacher (Rabbi) vs 38
Confident Commander vs. 39 Calls them to come
*Name giver – he renamed Simon to Peter
Messiah -(Savior) – vs. 41
Christ (annointed one) vs 41
omniscient – vs49 he saw what Nathanael was doing before he went to him
King of Israel –
prophet – vs 51 He foretold them seeing angels ascending and descending
The two that I starred above were what spoke to me most significantly.
The Scriptures say that Jesus is full of grace and truth. I tend to think of these separately. For example, when someone speaks boldly, I think of it more in terms of them being full of truth and willing to boldly proclaim the truth. When I think of someone being full of grace, I tend to think of someone meeker, quieter, gentler. What amazes me is that Jesus embodies the fullness of both of these characteristics. He is full of grace and he is full of truth. He is not one or the other. When he speaks truth, he speaks grace. He does not compromise and his willingness to live the truth and show me truth is His grace towards me.
The other one that stood out to me is that Jesus renamed Peter. He looked at Peter, an ordinary, unschooled fisherman and saw something else. I love vs. 42. Jesus looked at Simon, and gave him the name Rock. He gave him a vision. I think this is significant in light of the fact, that Peter was seemingly the most emotionally expressive and volatile of the disciples. He expressed things in terms of extremes, “I will never leave you.” “You will never wash my feet”. “Of course I love you.” And we know that, like all of us, Peter blew it time and time again. Yet, Jesus saw beyond his failures and weaknesses.
Though for the most part, Jesus called him Peter, there are examples in the Scriptures when Jesus reverts to calling him Simon or Simon Son ofJohn instead of Peter, e.g, after he denies the Lord three times and then meets the Lord on the shore of the sea. There Jesus uses “Simon son ofJohn” – his full, given name that Jesus had first called him before asking more of him as Peter. “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
This reminds me of interactions in our own family. When I am angry or want to get someone’s attention, I usually use their full name. For example, “Cosette Sophia Moormans….. did you (fill in the blank …)? But when I am pleased, I use a term of endearment. Thank you so much, Cozi for emptying the dishwasher.
So, it makes me wonder, what does the way Jesus call someone reveal about how he is feeling about them at that particular moment. Could Jesus be perturbed or angry in those situations where he uses Simon or Simon, son of John or even Simon Peter, like when I use someone’s full name?
Jesus’ renaming of Peter also reveals to me a more intimate side of Jesus where he is giving a special name to signify a vision of who Peter can and will become. I am reminded of the Scripture in Revelation 2 that says, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.
I have not studies out Revelation very well nor do I claim to understand it all, but it has always fascinated me that the above Scripture seems to say that those who ultimately win the race set before them will actually be given a new name by God himself. Pretty amazing thought.