I have always felt a certain kinship with biblical characters, especially those named John, because we share a name.
John the Baptist. A hairy face, some called him crazy, he was the voice calling out in the wilderness. I should strive to be so bold preparing the way for the Lord.
John the Apostle. He walked and talked with Jesus. He was a dear friend, so much so that Jesus entrusted His mother to John’s care at the foot of the cross. John was the only one of the twelve to avoid peril and live a long life because he had more to do, more to write. He was given a revelation and wrote the biblical book of the same name. How often have I narrowly escaped trouble? I guess I have more to write too.
The one aspect of John that I admire most is that he referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved”. He could have used “I, Me, My” or even just “John”. But he found his identity in the fact that he was loved by Jesus. What if the next time we say, “I did this or that”, we say instead, “ the disciple Jesus loves did this”?
Now, the rest of the story (Thank You Paul Harvey). I was headed through the drive through for a quick breakfast taco. I guess I go through there a bit too often, because they know my name. But on this particular morning, the server called me “David”. I didn’t think much of it, with it being a Monday morning. Then I thought, “Did she just make a mistake or did I somehow resemble David?” Oh, only if that were so.
David was a shepherd, fearless when creatures threatened the flock in his care. When he heard Goliath mock David’s people and their God, David challenged him with nothing but a sling and a few stones, weapons he knew well. Again, fearless. When David brought the Ark of the Lord through the streets, he shouted and danced, making a fool of himself. Now the “fool” thing sounds more like me. David also failed his calling, at times letting his fears and desires get the better of him, then begging for forgiveness. Now that’s getting down to my level.
David’s life was an open book, literally, as he is credited with writing half of the 150 psalms. Triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows, confessions and repentance. But always sure of God’s faithfulness and direction in his life.
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22
Imagine being considered by God as a “man after His own heart”. A lofty goal, but God sees us that all that way. He sent Jesus to take our place on the cross, to pay the ransom for our souls. To blot out our transgressions.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2
And He does, if we accept His gift of Grace with an honest and repentant heart.
So we are all truly like David: chosen, anointed, susceptible to failure, repentant and forgiven.
A man after God’s own heart.
The disciple that Jesus loves.
And Blessed in Great Measure