“Why John?” (Revelation 1:1-2)

At five foot two, I was never the kid who got picked first when team captains were choosing sides for the after school basketball game. Jake, who was five foot eight, was always the coveted choice. I didn’t have to wonder if it was my personality or lack of basketball savvy, the reason was simple why I was always picked last. I was too short!

In life, individuals are preferentially selected over others for different tasks depending upon their intellectual prowess, physical strengths, and personality traits. In business and social situations, these choices are commonly made. The local churches are established like many organizations with a board of directors. There are pastors, deacons, elders, and lay leaders. All are appointed or elected based upon the position and their qualifying traits. Through prayer and thoughtful discussion, it is hoped that the best qualified person is matched with the correct position. What about the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ? How did God choose the great saints who wrote the books of the Bible? Clearly many of the authors were great leaders or prophets. Paul, Peter, Isaiah, Moses are just a few of the honored authors. Yet, the one author that I have always wondered about is the author of the final book of the bible, the Book of Revelation. 

The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he saw.

Revelation 1:1-2 (CSB)

Why did God choose John? Why not Paul, the author of the most books in the New Testament? Why not Peter, the leader of the first church? Why not James or Jude, the half-brothers of Jesus? The Bible tells us that John was the disciple Jesus loved and when Jesus hung on the Cross, John was asked to care for Jesus’ earthly mother, Mary. Certainly, John qualified as a trusted disciple. The Bible does not give us a direct answer and as I pondered this, God spoke to my heart. As is so often in my spiritual journey, I found that I was asking the wrong question. Instead of asking, “Why John?”, I should be asking, “What can I do to allow God to use me like He used John?”

When I was younger I could have worked on my basketball skills and made myself a more desirable pick for the team captains. In my spiritual life, would similar preparations work? I can read and memorize the Bible and participate in many church activities. These are noble actions but is this really what God is seeking?

Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. 

Micah 6:8 (CSB)

For God to use me, I must humble myself before Him. All of the great saints that God chose to write the Bible, through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, embodied this. I should stop asking, “Why didn’t you pick me?” and ask, “Show me what I need to do to be used by You!”


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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