When reading this passage in Matthew 4, I like to imagine what it was like for John. Tradition has it that he was the youngest disciple, and I can imagine him tagging along with his older brother, James, and all of the other older disciples. Who knows what he was thinking and expecting when he left his father and his livelihood to follow this teacher, Jesus. I'd like to invite you into a moment of contemplation on this character.
Imagine what John may have been thinking, expecting, and wanting in that scene by the water with Jesus. What you may have been thinking, expecting, or wanting if you were in his place.
Then, take a moment to imagine what John's journey was like from there—when he walked with Jesus on earth in all of the exhilaration, confusion, disappointment, fear, and joy. Then, imagine the years after Jesus' ascension, as Jesus' disciples became leaders and missionaries, as they performed miracles and as they were killed, one by one.
Years later, tradition says that John wrote the Gospel of John and referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." I don't think that he started his journey with Jesus with that deep realization, but isn't it amazing that this is the way that he refers to himself as he is reflecting on that sweet relationship in the context of his particular life. Not "the one Jesus called," "the one Jesus taught," "the one Jesus sent," "the one Jesus empowered," "the one Jesus led," "the one Jesus forgave" or anything like that, even though those are all true and very important in his story. I wonder if this tells us something about the deepest dynamic in their relationship.
Jesus called his disciples during their mundane work day. I wonder how he invites us to follow him closely even today, on this Tuesday, as we are glancing through our emails and skimming this one. I believe that, in answering that invitation to walk close to him through God's grace, this moment and the next moment, we can have a deeper foundational experience, a deeper joy, in also being "the one whom Jesus loved."
I am so thankful to be 7.5 years into calling CotC home. I live in JP with my husband, Ryan, and study clinical psychology. I like hikes, potlucks, bikes, travel, and farmers' markets, and I spend most of my free time doing school work these days.