“I’m too old.”
I have started saying that more often than I should. It is my standard response when one of the young grandchildren open the game closet at our house and pull down the game TWISTER.
“I’m too old.”
However, I was encouraged today as I read about the Apostle John. At the age of around 80, as he prepared to write the Gospel he authored, he was the last remaining Apostle. By now, all the others had given their lives for the Gospel. The great persecution of the Christian brothers and sisters in Rome had taken place. Jerusalem had been overthrown and the temple destroyed some ten years earlier. John was most likely living in Ephesus serving in the church that the Apostle Paul had started.
As I read the history, I wondered if John ever said, “I’m too old to be of any further use to the Lord.” If he had ever made that statement, the Holy Spirit clearly answered with another assignment. “John, I want you to write down your understanding of the person of Jesus Christ and His mission to save the world from their sin.”
John ignored his age and took up the assignment. As a result, we have the Gospel of John. John was one of the few still living who had seen Jesus in the flesh. It would be easy for young believers—removed from Christ’s life, death, and resurrection by a generation and surrounded by a hostile government and unbelieving neighbors—to have doubts and second thoughts about their faith. Remember, this is after the terrible persecutions by Nero (a.d. 54-68) and the total destruction of Jerusalem (a.d. 70). The church had flourished under persecution, but believers needed reassurance of the truth of Christianity. John, the venerable eyewitness to all that Jesus had done and faithful follower of his Lord, would give that assurance through his personal account of the gospel story. (Life Application Bible Commentary)
Did you catch the incredible description of John’s life in the last sentence? “…the venerable eyewitness to all that Jesus had done and faithful follower of his Lord…” That’s what I want to be no matter my age. I want to be someone worthy of respect based on faithful, unrelenting service to Jesus.
But wait, John wasn’t done yet. After writing his Gospel, and as it began to spread encouragement to the saints to love Christ above all else and serve Him faithfully, the Roman government banished him to a prison island so his influence would cease. By now John is at least 90 years old. Certainly too old to do anything else meaningful for the Gospel.
Haha. LOL. The Holy Spirit had other plans. Just as John had written His Gospel to explain the redemptive mission of Jesus to save us from our sins, the Holy spirit would now give him another assignment. John, write down how the mission of Christ to save sinners will be concluded in the judgment of sin and the eternal glorification of the saints. I will show you what is to come.
John accepted the assignment, and now we have the book of Revelation, declaring to us the victory we have in Christ because of His resurrection power.
Next time you are tempted to say, “I’m too old,” remember John, and accept whatever assignment the Holy Spirit has for you. Declare with me that you will be a “venerable eyewitness to all that Jesus has done and a faithful follower of the Lord.”