That Other Disciple
23 December 2016
Reading: John 15-18
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. (John 18:15-16 NLT)
“That other disciple” is thought to be John, brother of James, one of the “Sons of Thunder” and the author of this gospel account of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, as well as three letters to the churches, and the book of Revelation.
John was a fisherman from Galilee, and if he really is “that other disciple,” how did he get to be an acquaintance of Annas or his son-in-law Caiaphas, the two most prominent and powerful Jews of the day? And how was he known well enough by the servants and guards at Annas’ palatial home that they let him into the courtyard?
Here are a few of the many thoughts this little vignette stirs up in me. Please join me in thinking these things through prayerfully:
• No matter how well we think we know a person or know a person’s story, there’s a lot we don’t know. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions about anyone based on incomplete knowledge and information.
• I know God and am known by him. That means I can speak to him in prayer and intercession on behalf of others who don’t yet know him.
• Is there anyone who is on the outside of my network of family and friend relationships whom I could invite in? Is there anyone that I could bring from outside to inside to share the richness of my friendships?
• If we put all our knowledge, experiences, relationships, and resources in God’s hands, it would surprise us to discover the ways he can use us to bless others!
Father, Please forgive me for thinking I know John, and a lot of other people, based on incomplete information. I don’t know them the way you know them. Help me to be open to learn more about people, and to be a better friend. And while I’m at it, I place all my resources and my relationships in your hands. I’d like to use any influence I have to open doors for others. Amen.