I’m committed to reading my bible through this year. I marvel at the little details God is showing me in the stories that are already familiar. One thing I’ve been noticing are the “post-titles. The writers of this magnificent book often put titles after the name as a reference point of whom they are speaking.
Some of these titles are so that you can place their descendants or where they are from like Joseph of Arimathea. Clearly, we understand that Joe is from Arimathea. It’s similar to what we say up here in Dutch country – Henry Yoder’s Betty. This would mean she is the “Betty” who is married to Henry Yoder – for reference. You get the picture?
Post titles are important when reading the scriptures. When every other gal is named Mary – it’s good to know which one we’re talking about. Is it the one who was from Magdala or the mother of Jesus?
The thing that has impressed me, however, are the post-titles that are given according to your response to Jesus. Mary – the mother of Jesus. John – the one whom Jesus loved. Thomas – the doubter and Judas – the one who betrayed him.
It is evident to me that the way you respond to Jesus is the legacy you leave. In Mark, the twelve disciples are listed. The list ends with Judas, the one who betrayed him. Although, the infamous betrayal has not yet happened, Mark gives us a glimpse into what is to come in his description of Judas. We know, off the bat, he is the villain in the story. His legacy preceded him.
His legacy supersedes him as well. The name Judas has become a word to loosely describe a traitor over the course of time. “Don’t be a Judas”, is a phrase we’ve all probably heard in some form. And of course, doubting Thomas is a term that has been used throughout the centuries as well.
The hope for a legacy is that it will follow you in a positive light; that you will leave behind an example that others look up to. Judas and Thomas, unfortunately, did not get the memo here.
I much prefer John’s description of himself when he refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. I don’t believe John is trying to say he was more important to Jesus, after all, Jesus washed Judas’ feet just like he did John’s. No one is certain why John refers to himself in this way. But, It’s my perspective that John is speaking for all of us here. We should all consider ourselves as the one whom Jesus loved – because each of our relationships with him is personal. My legacy should reflect my response to him throughout my life.
My legacy should reflect my response to him
throughout my life.
This has caused me to reflect. How would the Gospel writers describe me? What would my post-title be?
Kim – who lays her burdens down at the feet of Jesus? Or maybe it’s more like, Kim – the one who promptly takes the burdens back and holds onto them for awhile. Ah yes, sadly, that is probably more accurate.
Perhaps it would be – Kim – who was obedient most of the time with an occasional slip up. Or, Kim – the worrier. How about Kim – oh, she of much confusion. Or this one: Kim-the one who did her best.
I can think of a million of them. None of which I want to go down in history to leave as a lasting imprint on generations to come. I’d much rather have the legacy of John than Judas; that is for sure. And just perhaps, that is why John wrote this of himself. He wanted his legacy to be that he remembered, regardless of his imperfections, Jesus loved him. Perhaps, John’s penning of this was a nod to me and you to remember the same.
How do you respond to Jesus? What will be your post-title, your legacy of Jesus in your life?
Kim – the one whom Jesus loved – and she loved him back!