Then [Jesus] placed his right hand on me and said: “…I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.” ~ Revelation 1:17-18 (NIV)
The stubborn old man was stuck on an island. The island was small—about 7 miles long and 6 miles wide. The island was desolate and rocky. And there the stubborn old man sat.
But please understand—the old man was not stubborn in the sense of being difficult or unpleasant. On the contrary, he had the reputation for patience and extreme kindness. Rather, he was stubborn when it came to what he had done with his very long life.
His name was John. Sixty-plus years earlier, John had been a young man working for his father in the fishing industry. Indications are that the family business was successful. Very likely John could simply have carried on after his father and lived a good life.
But he didn’t. Instead, his life took a very different turn.
Two things took place to make this happen. One, he met Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was unlike anyone John had ever met. From the miracles Jesus performed to the message he proclaimed, John came to believe that Jesus was the very Son of God, the One sent by God to make all things right.
But it was one other thing Jesus did that changed everything for John. After giving his life as the ransom for sin, Jesus raised himself from the dead. Before that moment, John had been hesitant, even fearful, about a lot of things. But after that Sunday morning of long ago, John’s hesitation evaporated, and a joyful stubbornness took its place.
And now John was an old man, having spent the last six decades of his life telling others about their Savior from sin. He did this even when people beat him for it. He did this even when people imprisoned him for it. He did this even when people threatened him with death. He did this even when people put his old, tired body on a boat and exiled him on a desolate, rocky island.
It made no difference to John. His Savior from sin was alive. That’s all that mattered.
The same is true for you and me.
Lord Jesus, you live. And because you live, I stand forgiven through faith in you. Eternal life is mine. Fill me with a joyful stubbornness to tell others about you. Amen.