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JOHN     4'1m0f Monologue: John, love, trust, sacrifice

JOHN -- (enters wearing tunic, headress, and sandals) My name is
John, son of Zebedee. When my brother James and I first became
apostles, Jesus called us "the sons of thunder", because we were
easily angered and full of bluster.

I remember early in our ministry we found some strangers driving
out demons in the name of Jesus. We were indignant!

(shouts, points) "Master, we saw a man driving out demons in
your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of
us."

But Jesus, in his usually calm manner, just reminded us that
(imitates) "whoever is not against you is for you."

Oh. Yeah. Of course.

A little while later, when we were about to go through a village
on our way to Jerusalem, the town leaders sent word that we were
not welcome there.

Of course, James and I were enraged. We shouted, (shouts) "Lord,
do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"

How dare they reject the one true messiah of God!

But, again, Jesus calmly reminded us that the messiah is the
savior, not the destroyer.

Oh. Yeah. Of course.

So now you see how we became known as the "Sons of Thunder".
It's hard to imagine that after all these years I am now known
as the apostle of love. I suppose this only goes to show you
that love is a behavior you can learn and not a emotion that you 
feel.

As I see it, love stands on two legs. If you remove either leg,
love will not stand.

The first leg is trust. I learned that if there is no trust in a
relationship there is no love. Oddly, I learned about this in a
row boat on the Sea of Galilee. We had left Jesus behind on the
shore to mourn the loss of his cousin, John the Baptist. He sent
us on ahead, so we began to row across the lake, when a storm
came up suddenly. During the storm Jesus caught up to us. But
instead of rowing a boat, Jesus was walking on the water!

Well, as you might suspect, we were all terrified, both by the
storm and by this person walking on top of the waves. Some of us
thought that this was a ghost. But Jesus calmed our fears the
moment he spoke.

Now, I suppose your going to ask, what does storms and row boats
have to do with love? Well, of all people, it was a loud-mouth
named Peter who taught me about love that day. When Peter
confirmed that it was Jesus out there walking on water, he asked
Jesus if he could do it too. Jesus agreed and Peter stepped out
of the boat and began to walk on water.

Mind you, when most people remember this story, they remember
how Peter began to sink when he let the size of the waves
intimidate him. But I remember that Peter was the only apostle
in the boat to TRUST Jesus.

Trust is one of the legs that love stands on and Peter was
strong in trust. He was an example for all of us.

The other leg that love stands on is sacrifice. Oddly, my role
model for sacrifice was a tax collector. His name was Matthew.

Now, I don't know how much you know about tax collectors, but I
can tell you from personal experience that tax collectors in
Israel were very wealthy! When Matthew decided to follow Jesus,
he gave up a huge fortune. And what Matthew taught me was that
the more of this world you let go of, the tighter your grip on
Jesus. Noone loved Jesus more than Matthew because noone
sacrifice more for Jesus.

So, there you have it, a lesson on love from the apostle of
love. And now you know the truth. I got my reputation for love
from merely copying the behavior of two other people. But that
was before I found an even better example of love in the person
of Jesus himself. He was the ultimate example of love standing
on a foundation of trust and sacrifice. No human being has ever
trusted the Father more and noone ever sacrificed more than 
Jesus himself.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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http://www.bobsnook.org  email: bob@bobsnook.org

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