After conquering the grave, The After Easter Jesus thought it good to stick around this world for an extra forty days. He had spent forty days in the wilderness before starting his movement, so I suppose a matching bookend to complete the narrative was in order. Besides, it would take his crew at least that long to get their arms around a Jesus that doesn’t stay dead or where you put him. These days start with Jesus calling a confused, beloved friend by name. They conclude with the promise that he would always be present, even as he flew back to the heaven from which he came. The telling takes up all of one chapter in John, and bits of another in each gospel. Not a lot of ink as holy writ goes; but there are more than enough encounters and conversations worth leaning in and listening to.
The “Disciple who Jesus loved” gives a good telling of most of these. It’s not a surprise because John had a front row seat to most of them. So in this five part series we will stay right there. In his account Jesus appeared unexpectedly and spoke peace to a frightened lot. He follows them home to the fishing village where he had found them three years before, loads their nets with fish, has some breakfast and has a rather crucial conversation with the fallen Peter, restored now to lead the faith forward.
The more I read that ”rest of the story”, the more I see myself, and my people in there. Nervous and afraid? Been there. Confused and uncertain? You too, huh? Have you ever taken a wrong turn, or longer than you should to figure something out? We are in good company. How about failing at something that matters and should come easy to you; that lands you somewhere between humbled and humiliated? Not much feel good there. Maybe you need something out of the ordinary and out of the blue to bring faith back to life? Jesus is good at that.
That’s the disciple’s story. And mine, yours, and everybody else’s for that matter. So let’s eavesdrop together on some of those conversations over the next month and see what He may be saying to us as well.