The Core Sunday Gathering

June 26, 2011

Love Life: Personal Hero

Jesus & John the Beloved

Written Question (in advance): In your wildest dreams, what would you accomplish with your life? What would make you feel like your life had been truly worthwhile?

Question: Who is your Personal Hero? (not a character from the Bible)

        -Who do you want to be just like?

-Assign Scripture: Mark 3:16-19 (Sons of Thunder)

                -A shallow study of this will make it look like James & John had sonorous voices, or passionate personalities

                        -That may actually be true, but it’s not what Mark is saying

                -That funny word “Boanerges”, in the Syriac version, is Benai Regesh.

                        -Benai means Sons, and Regesh is the word translated Thunder

                        -The most common way most Jewish scholars define an individual person is in three parts:

                                -“Sehel” (Intelligence), “Regesh” (Emotions), and “Guf” (Body)

                        -To say that one is a Son of Thunder means that he’s controlled by his emotions.

                                -On top of that, Regesh only appears twice in the Old Testament… both in Psalm 64:2

                                -Translated “counsel of the wicked” and “an insurrection”

                        -James and John may not have been violent like Simon the zealot, but they were hot-headed

                -Nevertheless, Jesus picks them both to be among his 12 disciples.

                -We should ask ourselves if we could be called Sons or Daughters of Thunder?

                        -Are you ruled by your emotions? Am I an insurrectionist at heart, complaining about everything I see?

                        -Do you have a knee-jerk reaction to the things you dislike? You might be a Son of Thunder!

        -But that’s John at the beginning. Let’s look at him a little later on.

        -Assign Scriptures: John 13:21-25 (Last Supper), John 19:26 (On the cross)

                -In addition to this, John refers to himself two more times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”

                -It appears in chapters 13, 19, 20 and 21. So for the first 12 chapters he sees himself as a Son of Thunder

                -But somehow his perspective changes in chapter 13, when he’s leaning against Jesus’ chest.

                -And he realizes “I am Jesus’ beloved!” He has called me by name, and asked me to become like him!

Question: What is the difference between your Personal Hero and you?

-Now tell me what you wrote on your slip of paper.

-What would you accomplish in your wildest dreams? What is your fantasy?

        -Now: What’s stopping you?

        -Do you believe you would probably fail? That someone else would do it better?

        -Do you believe you don’t have enough support? Enough persistence?

        -Do you believe God is not really interested in you? His plan for you is not significant – like a pawn or a cog?

                -Can you believe that you really are God’s BELOVED? Just like John was?

                -Or are you still stuck in John chapters 1-12? There’s some great stuff in there. John 3:16, for instance

                        -Yes of course God so loved the world that he would die for the world

                        -But it took 10 more chapters for John to see: Jesus would take a bullet for me, personally, as his beloved.

                        -How many more chapters will it take us to realize that?

Brennan Manning, “Abba’s Child” p. 51 Define yourself radically as one beloved by God” till end of block quote.

Read Isaiah 43:1, 4; 54:10 “I won’t be afraid, because God has redeemed me; He has called me by my name, I am His. I am precious in His eyes, because I am honored and He loves me… the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but His love for me will never leave me and His covenant of peace with me will never be shaken.”

-John, along with all the other disciples, came up short all the time.

        -and they all lost hope while Jesus was in the tomb

        -Even after he was raised from the dead, they were more observers than catalysts.

                -But a few weeks later, they were Radically Different. For example:

Read Acts 3:2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong

        -God is calling you to be a catalyst for his kingdom. To make a real difference in the world around you.

                -Wouldn’t you like to leave this planet having known that your existence mattered?

        -So what was the difference? What empowered the disciples to be just like their Rabbi?

Read Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

-This is not a denominational church, and I believe our diversity of doctrines is a beautiful thing

        -But we can’t skip over this moment, and what happens here.

        -It’s one thing for Jesus to be your Personal Hero, like the young John the beloved, the “son of thunder”

                -To the mature John the Evangelist, and John the Revelator, the man chosen to witness the apocalypse

        -We can’t deny that the difference is this experience of being filled with the Spirit

                -And we have to ask ourselves if we are simply admirers and worshippers of Jesus

                -But lack the power to really follow him and BE LIKE HIM.

                -That is why we are given the Holy Spirit…Jesus knows we can’t be like him, unless he gives us the power

                -And that is when true change, true transformation begins.

        -That’s when we go from being students to being disciples, from learning about Jesus, to honestly following him.

                -And we can see ourselves actually moving forward, and growing stronger in our faith

-PRAYER TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT