Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Human Condition Comedy: A Night With Joyce Meyer

There are SO MANY ways to read and apply the words of the Bible. Sometimes when I read it, it's a story (it feels almost like I'm reading fiction), sometimes I'm looking for a lesson, other times I'm looking for examples, but for those who believe, the Bible is a history book as well. It's filled with real people and real events and I have a tendency to forget that when I read it sometimes because I'm too busy looking for the story, the lesson and the examples. But last night, the Joyce Meyer Conference in Phoenix Arizona showed me just how real these people really were. And when I say "real", I mean they followed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and were FLAWED! They were anointed even with their personality glitches and attitudes. For some reason, the reality of these REAL people FINALLY jumped out of the pages last night thanx to Joyce Meyer.... another self-professed FLAWED follower of Christ. But aren't we all (flawed, I mean)? So let me take you through the HILARIOUS ride through the past that Joyce gave all in attendance.

Enter, Peter, John and Jesus in the Book of St. John written by John. John, one of the youngest apostles had a confidence in his Jesus' love for him. It was almost an innocent bragging that you might expect from a child and COULD be viewed as arrogant. But confidence CAN appear that way, can't it? In fact, don't some harbor a hidden resentment for those who have that winning personality; that ability to 'get close' to people and win favor? Was this a flaw in John? Peter certainly thought so as you'll see in a moment. But it's interesting, John was the ONLY apostle that stayed with Jesus till his death and he was the apostle that Jesus charged with caring for his mother after his passing. I personally believe that likability and confidence is a gift. And you can see very early the ones that are blessed with it at birth (as I imagine John was). A parent scolds a child angrily and the child responds with a sheepish smile and a "you know you love me!", and the parent crumbles. Jesus' response to John never indicated that displaying this type of confidence is in any way wrong. In fact God tells us the very opposite, to be confident and bold. But here's where the story of Peter, Jesus and John gets 'REAL' <--- IT'S SUPER HILARIOUS BECAUSE IT IS EXACTLY HOW PEOPLE STILL BEHAVE TODAY!

John 21: 7 - That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"... (John says this more than once through his story.)

John 21: 20-21 - Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him (John...hahahaha... the one whom Jesus loved), he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"

Now the comedy that is the human spirit of this story actually takes place in John 21:15-19 where Jesus is speaking to Peter, asking him if he loves him, teaching him that love is sacrifice and then proceeds to describe how he will die a HORRIBLE death to glorify God, but Peter is far less concerned with that than the fate of the man he is witnessing reclining on Jesus in a show of affection. HAHAHAHA... he says, "Lord, what about his man?" No concern for his own gruesome fate... he wants to know what's gonna happen to the brown-noser!!! HAHAHAHAHA! In John 21:22 Jesus chastises Peter basically telling him that John's fate is none of his business. We can be like that can't we... so consumed with what's happening to others? And John MUST have known (or at the very least believed) that Peter was jealous of his relationship with Jesus to have written the story the way he did about Peter. I wish I could have been there to see John's face when Peter got chastised. I bet that too was HILARIOUS! Do you think he hid his face from Jesus as he gave Peter a "nany, nany, nany" gesture. HAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway, Joyce Meyer, Thank you for making the person of John and Peter come to life for me. Thank you for teaching on the power of confidence in Jesus' love and the anointing that confidence brings (flaws and all). These stories are of real people who had real emotions that all of us can relate to. The next time I sit down to read my Bible, I'm definitely going to be looking for the back story a little more.... it made all the difference in the world.

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