A Strong Testimony
The Gospel of John -
We see the Gospel of John is considered as a strong testimony due to certain facts:-
1) Accuracy of events
2) First hand report of events
3) A unique perspective of Christ
4) More like an autobiography
The flow of events, the details of the events and the unique perspective of the events concerning Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of John sets it apart from the other Gospels. Many Muslim Apologist point to these differences to state that this Gospel was written many years later than what historically stated and is a manipulated Gospel to show Jesus as God.
If one looks at the scriptures in detail even though the scriptures look simple to a lay man to understand yet they contain a depth which any theologian / Bible student would take years and years to unfold.
Every word of the Gospel of John baffled me when the Lord started unfolding the revelations hidden in them. It will still take me years to understand the first 5 lines of the Gospel. The question comes how John could know so much of Jesus unless he had a very close relationship with Him.
We do see John being more comfortable with Jesus than the other remaining 12 chosen disciples. Firstly we need to understand John and James were the closest relations to Jesus after His own brothers and mother. But the brothers of Jesus (sons of Mary and Joseph) were not believers (His followers) until His crucifixion, even though James and Joses (and at least one of His sisters) would sometimes company the troop that followed Jesus.
John and James were called sons of thunder by Jesus. Their mother Salome was called 'Mary' by Jesus out of respect as He had for His mother, was His mother's sister. John the Baptist was son of Mary's cousin Elizabeth but John and James were sons of her sister Salome. Salome's husband Cleopas or Cleophas was also called (surnamed) Zebedee due to his name being a common name. If one gets into the meaning of his names, Cleopas means 'a renowned father' one who brings up his children well. His surname / nickname Zebedee means 'my gift' both his names showed him as a great gentleman and father. Jesus called John's father a thunder, showing him to be a strict person. We see not only John knew Jesus well but Jesus also knew John and his family well for they were close cousins and this closeness we see in the Gospel.
Paul in his letters uses the word 'brethen' about 108 times and the word 'brother' 34 times but not even once does he use the word 'friend'. People misunderstand relationships with Jesus due to the mistranslation of the word 'Philo', instead of being translated 'associate' it has been put as 'friend'. Even in the Old Testament the Lord called Abraham His 'love' and that word has been mistranslated as 'friend'. A friend is a person one knows well and bonds well with but do not have blood relationship with. This world has propagated the word friend to cover all relationship and thus weakened them which people irony, think otherwise. It is sad when people call Jesus their friend, it show how far they are from Him.
In today's message the Lord is asking us what testimony do we have. He is telling us only when we are family with Jesus will we have a strong testimony in us. No doubt Jesus is our Saviour and Lord but unless we do not have a close blood relationship with Him, being part of His family we will not have a testimony like John in our lives.
When we go to Heaven only two things in us will count or would be taken up with us and that is the Word of God in us and our testimony of Jesus Christ.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray we build our relationship with You not according to worldly basis but a relationship according to your standards. Help us know what a family is how each one is bonded to another. Lord Jesus You called us your brothers and sisters and made is possible to call your Father as our Father. Father we prayer that we know more and more of our Brother Jesus and thus have a better relationship with Him and You...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Mark 6:3 - Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mark 15:40 - There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Mark 15:40 - And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
Mark 16:1 - And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.
John 19:25 - These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you.
16 Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
2 Chronicles 20:7- Didst not thou, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham thy friend ['ahab - love / lover] for ever?
Isaiah 41:8 - But thou, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend,
James 2:23- and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend [philos - an associate or person close too] of God.
Genesis 29:32- And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love['ahab - love / lover] me.
Revelation 6:9 - And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
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