In my morning quiet time, I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the 21 chapters of the book of John. Author, songwriter, and extraordinary worship musician Don Potter made it easy in his book John, a layman’s look at the disciple Jesus loved. https://www.potterschoolhaus.com/shop-online/john-a-laymans-look-at-the-disciple-jesus-loved
Potter is a lifelong guitarist, singer, and musical forerunner who has journeyed through concert stages, studios, and churches, and is a respected praise leader and teacher.
This is one of those books you’ll want to underline or highlight sentences to find them again. My copy is marked up with notes in the margin. This post isn’t a paid review, rather an endorsement of a book that impacted my thinking and spurred me to ponder in depth some of the verses I read. I will definitely be chewing certain thoughts and talking to God about them so as to gain more understanding.
A Major Takeaway
One major takeaway for me was when Potter points out that each of the four gospels presents a different version of Christ as they saw Him. Any serious Bible scholar (or casual reader) can see that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record slightly different accounts of what they saw Jesus do. Potter writes, “Mark was all about the Son of Man, while John wanted to reveal the Son of God. This shows us the many facets of Jesus and who He really is to every person who believes in Him. To try and make Jesus into one kind of personality is just not true.”
Christians today believe everyone should perceive Jesus the same way and that will never happen as proven in by the New Testament writers. Each person interacts with Jesus differently. Every believer is an individual with a different story and testimony of God’s touch in their life.
The Resurrected Jesus’s Customized Interaction with Mary Magdalene
I was especially touched by Potter’s commentary on what he saw as he read John 20: verses 11-16. To recount for you, Mary stood weeping outside the empty tomb, then looked in to see two angels who spoke to her. She turned around and saw Jesus but did not recognize Him. They converse and it was not until he called her by name that she recognized who the man truly was.
Potter points out that the two disciples who were just there didn’t have an angelic encounter nor did they see Jesus. They saw the empty tomb, the linens inside, and the gigantic stone rolled away but that’s it. They returned to their homes (John 20:10). Potter points out that as leaders, these men were chosen to preach the gospel after Jesus’s ascension, whereas Mary had a different assignment as well as a different relationship with Jesus.
We Are to Be Like Mary
Mary was someone Jesus loved and cared for. We know from previous scriptures that He changed her life so she followed His teachings. As one of the eyewitnesses to the crucifixion, she was emotionally devasted to see Him suffer such a violent death. On this particular day she visited His burial site to grieve and weep over the loss of this Teacher she revered. Mary didn’t understand where His body was.
Potter writes “When Mary waited on Him, He manifested His presence and the presence of two angels. It is the one who waits on the Lord after all others have left that sees the wonders and the manifest presence. (Whoa!) This proves that the Lord will present to each one who loves Him a custom-made experience that will get you through a sad moment or bring encouragement.”
A Confirming Dream
God gave me a dream on Sunday, 9/18/2022 in which I interacted with a talking infant who told me her name was Mary. She was wearing a white outfit made of soft, feather material. Upon awakening, I had no idea what little Mary or the dream scene meant. I took my coffee into my reading corner and decided to finish reading the John book since I had only ten pages left. There on page 237 was the passage about Mary at the tomb that I read that very Sunday a few hours after seeing the dream. I then understood clearly what Abba was telling me. “Be like Mary and wait on me” was my journal entry.
Have you read any Christian books lately that inspired you or helped you see Jesus in a new way? I’d love to hear about these books in the comment section below. Why not take a minute to reflect on all YOUR customized interactions with Jesus? I’m sure you hold them dear.
Thanks for listening to my heart, beloved. Until next time, keep the faith and occupy until He comes.
Christian author and inspirational speaker of truth that makes the darkness tremble. Author of two non-fiction books at https://linktr.ee/TattooedKing