The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Every counselor fairly quickly meets with someone we will call “Yabut.” We see an example of a Yabut in John 21:20-23. The apostle Peter, restored by Jesus, looks at another apostle, the one who is unnamed in the Fourth Gospel. Most people assume it to be John. Peter asks Jesus about John. What about this one? It is as if Peter is saying he was restored by Jesus and has a future, which doesn’t always look promising. What about John? Could you at least reassure me that his life will be cut short and he will be persecuted? Peter’s response to restoration seems to be “Yeah, but what about…?” This is a “Yabut.”
Jesus brings a response to Peter, as well as to every Yabut we will ever meet. That may include a good number of people who read this blog post. Jesus’ response is to point Peter back to his own relationship with Jesus. “Don’t worry about John, what about you?”
When we find ourselves doubting or disputing, we normally use negative examples. What about those other people who don’t seem to be obedient to Jesus? What about the fact that there have been people throughout history who have done terrible things and have been recognized, at least by some, as Christians? What about abuses in the Church? What about the fact that some, no, many unbelieving people do some good and selfless acts? Why should I spend my life devoted to Jesus?
The biblical response is simple. What are you doing in regard to the one who claims to have redeemed you from the curse of sin and evil? What are you doing in response to his offer of eternal care? What is your attitude about looking to God the Son in trust? Those other people have their own story. What’s yours looking like? Are you going to trust that Jesus has redeemed you and will raise you from the dead in the last day? All the “Yabut” reactions count for nothing before the one who deals with us individually.
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