Monday, June 23, 2014

Get to Know You Monday (Vol. 4)



Deciding on the question to ask you for Get to Know You Monday isn't all that easy. Oh, the places my thoughts go. Is it too deep of a question? What if you don’t like my question? What if no one answers my question? It can be exhausting.

I am making a promise to myself to stop the over-thinking and simply ask the question.

Question: Who is your favorite of the twelve (12) disciples? You know, those 12 men who followed Jesus throughout His ministry.

Uncertainty on how to word my question led me to send a personal message to two of my trusty and fabulous writing friends. I asked them, “Do I say 12 disciples or apostles?” We had quite the theological discussion as a result of my question. Somehow or another we went from a theological discussion to talking about ice cream. I love you, Shelly and Joan.

As you can see, I went with calling them disciples. Now . . . I did send an email off to another trusted source for her input.

Me: So the 12 followers of Christ . . . called apostles or disciples?

Her: They were both. Disciples (followers) and Apostles (sent out workers).

Here’s a question for you. When does one stop calling themselves a new believer? I accepted Christ in February 2012. I still call myself a new believer with a whole lot to learn. I know . . . we all have much to learn, don’t we? I love how we never stop learning.

Why am I telling you this? My intended first response to the question: Paul. Hence, new believer with a lot to learn. My mind had assumed Paul, because I like him so much, was one of the twelve. Let’s say Paul is my favorite follower of Jesus in the Bible.

Side note: I also learned this week that Matthias replaced Judas. Does that mean you could choose from 13 disciples? Keep in mind, one could also choose Judas. He did fulfill what Scripture prophesied.

Again, I did a good deal of over-thinking and doubting with regards to this question. I am keeping it real by sharing my thoughts. This is a let’s get to know one another better series. You should know I have a lot to learn.  I am careful with how I reference Scripture in a post because it’s important to me that I use in the proper context. I am an imperfect follower of Christ so I am sure I have said something wrong along the way.

Can we go back to Paul because I really, really like Paul? The first book of the Bible I read in its entirety was Philippians. From there I read Romans. I gave my life to Christ when our church did a small group study on Romans 12. After Romans I read Ephesians. Who doesn't love Ephesians?

To eventually discover Paul was also Saul surprised me. This follower of Jesus had won my heart and he once persecuted Christians? If God could transform someone like Paul he could surely transform my heart. For me, God has used Paul over and over again to speak to my heart on the hope we have in Jesus. Seriously, in the Who’s Who in the Bible book there are 10 pages devoted to Paul. He’s my fave.

But . . . Paul did not follow Jesus from the beginning; he is not considered as one of the twelve. If you wanted to say Paul too I’m good with that. Just so you know.

Who is my favorite of the 12 disciples? Peter.

I have much to learn about Peter but I say Peter because I am fascinated by how he denied Christ three times. But even more so by how his heart ached after realizing he denied him three times. I see a bit of myself in Peter. My heart aches for the years I denied Christ but I have been forever changed as a result of choosing to follow Him. By the way, there are six pages devoted to him in the Who’s Who in the Bible book.

A few of the 12 disciples we know little about because the Gospels don’t tell us a great deal about them. Maybe the unknown is what attracts you to a particular one.

Okay, enough from me. I want this series to be all about getting to know YOU.

So, who is your favorite?


33 comments :

  1. Boy, you ask some tough questions. I also like Peter, and I really like John. But I think the disciple that I most identify with is Thomas. Not much is said about him, except for that rather startling encounter with the risen Lord. The reason I like him is because he struggled to believe that Jesus had really come back to life. He had some doubts, was afraid to believe the joyous news. I'm thinking he was one of those *glass-half-empty* people (like me).

    But what I love most is how Jesus handled him. He appeared to Thomas, and without condemning him, invited Thomas to touch Him and believe.

    Because of that encounter, I can also hear Jesus say, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." That would be you and me - and that's good stuff!!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Good stuff, Sharon. I did ponder between Peter and Thomas so I totally relate to what you shared. Thanks so much for sharing. I know a bit harder question. I almost went with favorite summer vacation spot but... well I decided not to over think and go with first thought. :)
      Blessings. xoxo

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  2. Beth,
    I am with Sharon. I suppose I relate most to Thomas the doubter. I have OCD which is nicknamed "the doubter's disease". I also love that Jesus did not condemn or rebuke Thomas for his doubts but, in love, opened up his hands for Thomas to touch and see his wounds. I am also a visual learner like Thomas...I like to see things. So often my prayer is I believe, help my unbelief.
    Love and ((hugs)),
    Bev

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    1. I have that same prayer quite often too, Bev. Thanks for sharing, friend. These responses make me smile. Love you and (((hugs))),
      Beth

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  3. Love you!! And this is a great question! John. I love the book of John, his views, his writings. He was called the loyal disciple--also whom Jesus loved. He has a deep relationship with Jesus maybe even on a level that we all still are getting to. He never seemed to question the love Jesus had for him. He just lived as a loved one.

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    1. Your response gives me goosebumps, Jenn. I've read John a few times but this leaves me wanting to pick up and read again. Thanks for sharing. Love you.

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  4. Wow! Tough question! I can totally relate to Peter (as in , open mouth, insert foot), and since we are studying John this summer in Bible study, I am loving his perspective on Christ. However, one of my favorite tidbits in the book of John is that Jesus went and got Phillip; he didn't hear a sermon or get invited by someone else; Jesus personally sought him out. I love that. What a beautiful picture of how we are drawn to love Jesus by Jesus Himself.

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    1. Ginger, thanks so much for sharing. I'm sitting here pondering that and yes, what a beautiful picture. Blessings. xoxo

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  5. The apostle Paul is one of my heroes! It proves to me that no matter what I've done, believed or said, the Holy Spirit can truly change my heart. But if I had to choose among the 12 disciples? I tend to gravitate toward Peter. And I love the writing style of Luke. Can I choose two?

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    1. You can so pick two, Carrie! Thanks so much for sharing. I smiled because you love Paul too. xoxo

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  6. Hi Beth! Great question :)
    I LOVE ST PAUL! He is my super-favorite guy. He was a man on a mission and he never turned away, no matter what..and there was a lot of 'what' in his travels.
    My favorite apostle is Peter, followed closely by Simon the Zealot. St. Peter asks every single question I would have...I'm not a quick study at all. And I deny Christ all the time. Yeah, I'm a big mess! Simon the Zealot calls to me because like Paul, he was so invested he was called 'zealot'. I want to be like that.
    Hope you are having a great Monday my friend!
    Ceil

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  7. Love this! :) I'm gonna say Barnabas, as my "not one of the 12" people. :) I love that he was known as the Son of Encouragement. I want to be known like that.

    For my "one of the 12" choice, I'd have to say Peter. I definitely relate to his denial and his struggle with that, but the one thing that makes me choose him is this:
    He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 16:15-17

    That, and he was the one who cut the soldier's ear off. I think I'd have been reaching for my sword, too, if someone came for my friend. I definitely relate to him. He was bold and flawed.

    Thanks for the thought question and neat discussion, sweet Beth! Love you! <3
    Heart Hugs, Shelly

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    1. I must say I am learning so much through these responses. My heart is smiling BIG. Thank you so much for sharing, Shelly, and for the great conversation we had leading up to this post. <3 you.

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  8. Hi Beth!

    I love this question! And since I had a little preview of what you were going to ask today, I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. My favorite of the 12 disciples is also Peter! I love his humanness. I love how he exuberantly followed Jesus. He went overboard (literally) to do so... I love that he jumped out of the boat to get to Jesus... I love that when Jesus was about to wash Peter's feet he at first refused (how could he allow the Lord to do that menial task?) but then said, "Then wash not just my feet but my head and hands, too!" when Jesus said to be part of Him Peter needed to let Him wash his feet. (Jn. 13:1-17) I love how he, after being so human and showing fear by denying Christ, sought forgiveness and then went on to become the rock of the early Church! I am guessing that he was a fun person to be around, too. (I don't know why I think that, it's just the impression I get! LOL) Isn't it wonderful to have an example of someone who knew nothing of the Lord and then went on, even through his own imperfection, to follow, learn, serve and teach? If a fisherman who has weaknesses can do it, so can I!

    Thanks for asking this great question!!

    Love, Joan

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    1. I just love, love, love this. You share stuff I've read but I don't always recall which disciple it was and you have me loving Peter even more. Seriously, I was so worried about this question, but have been so blessed by the responses. I am so grateful I reached out to you and Shelly as that pre-discussion really gave me encouragement I needed to move forward. Love you. xoxo

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    2. I really enjoyed our chat the other day!! I think Jesus would have liked it, too! Hmmmm. I wonder what type of ice cream His favorite is? <3

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  9. Totally Peter. And you probably know me well enough by now to know why!! :-) Love get to know you Monday!

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    1. I'm loving these Monday's together too!

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  10. Hard one! Peter. SO real. So full of love for Jesus, but flawed all the same. Feels familiar :)

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    1. My heart is truly smiling from these responses. Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa. xoxo

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  11. I love Peter because of his zeal and failure all in the same night (first cutting the ear off the soldier when they came to arrest Jesus, and then his fear kicks in and he denies Christ later that night.) But I also love John, the disciple Jesus loved. Not sure how his love differed from how Jesus loved the other disciples, as I'm sure he did, but He and John had a special relationship from what I gather. I love John because he seems a little more behind the scenes yet so effective in his ministry.

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    1. I am really liking what you shared about John, Lori. Speaks to me some on why I was hesitant to pick him. That behind the scenes . . . there is something about him but I wasn't sure what to say what it was if I picked him. Reflecting on what you shared so thank you for sharing. xoxo

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  12. I think my favorite is John. I love his writings and his story but I think what draws me to him is his arrogance. He is the only one to call himself the one Jesus loved. No where else do you see that written concerning him. I think that he lived Jesus do much and was so convinced of Jesus love for him that he was just a little arrogant in it, I'm thinking maybe I would be the same way.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Julie. I'm really enjoying all these responses. So thought provoking. Blessings.

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  13. I'm always moved by the story of the first 4 disciples called (Peter, Andrew, James & John) because of their response of obedience to the call, "Come follow me." Matthew 4:18-22 says of both groups, "they IMMEDIATELY" left their boats and followed Jesus. They didn't ask for credentials, or a game plan, or "what's in it for me." Jesus said Follow, and they did. Immediately. I would like to be more like that.

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    1. Oh, I so agree, Beth. I would like to be more like that too. Thank you for sharing. Much love. xoxo

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  14. Tough question. For me I would have to say John. Or Matthew. I love their writings and I've learned so much from them both. But I'd love to be known as the "disciple Jesus loved." John didn't refer to himself often, but always pointed others to Jesus. That's my desire. He took his name out of the picture and put Jesus' in. Thanks for asking a great question today, Beth! Love it!

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    1. I do have to say the book of Matthew is probably my favorite of the Gospels. I loved your take on John too. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings. xoxo

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  15. I had to think about this one! Thomas. Yes, he doubted, but that is not all. He asked questions, like "Lord, we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?(John 14:5)" If he had not asked, we wouldn't have Jesus' answer in verse 6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
    He's the one who urged the disciples to go on with Jesus to Judea when they heard of Lazarus' death. He said "Let us also go that we may die with him." I know he gets a bad rap about the doubting thing - but isn't this me? I have days when I am strong and ready to "die with Him" and days when I doubt. Jesus reappeared when Thomas was with the disciples. I believe He came just to invite Thomas to stop doubting and believe. We all mess up. It's what we do after. What did Thomas do? Thomas acknowledged Jesus as "My Lord and my God!" He is believed to have gone on and spread the gospel all over the world. I am grateful for this story. It reminds me of me and how Jesus relentlessly chases after me, even when I am doubting.

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    1. Liv, after reading the last chapter of Chasing God where Angie shares so much on Thomas, I think I may have a new love for him or at least a desire to study him more. Powerful stuff. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings.

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  16. I agree with, Liv. Thomas. I hate admitting that solely bc he was a doubter, but then again it's probably why my word for the year is Believe. And God has been doing a work in my heart with this word. LOVE this 'get to know you.' It's great!!

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    1. If you have not read Chasing God by Angie Smith you must read . . . or at least read the last chapter. She shares if she had to choose a favorite it would probably be Thomas and the reasons why are so powerful. Love you friend. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

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  17. This is a great question! I love that you are a new believer. You still have that fire and tenacity to learn, which we should never lose. My favorite disciple is John. I love his gospel and John chapter 1 was one of my favorite passages of scripture for a long time. I also love the fact that when they tried to kill him, he didn't die. He went on to write the book of Revelation in exile. God always has a plan.

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Much love to you.