Today’s Scripture: Acts 12:1-2
I love stories with happy endings. This week’s story is one of them. Despite their hot tempers and impulsive, knee-jerk reactions, James and John were two of Jesus’ closest friends as well as part of His “inner circle” of disciples. Traveling more than three years with the Messiah went a long way in helping chisel off the rough edges. And their experience with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room empowered them to not only be filled with the Spirit. They were now led and controlled by the Spirit.
When the church age began, King Herod wasted no time imprisoning some Christians, including James. A few years earlier, this “Son of Thunder” would have called down fire from heaven. Instead, James meekly and willingly laid down his life for the sake of the Gospel, becoming the first apostle to be martyred.
John, his brother, was the only one of the Twelve (except Judas) who was not martyred. His epistles were written later in life after he had mellowed with age. Although John never lost his fervency for the Spirit, over the years he became tempered by love. In fact, in his epistles John uses the word “love” more than thirty times.
When he first met Jesus, John was a “son of thunder.” By the end of his life, he became known as the Beloved Disciple. What a difference spending time with Jesus can make.
- To what do you attribute the change(s) in the lives of James and John?
- What difference would more time in the Presence of Jesus make in your life?
- How will your relationship with the Lord be different after this week’s quest?
Feel free to post your thoughts and insights.