Who do you want to meet when you get to Heaven? It is a question you may have been asked in casual conversation. Maybe it’s a notion you’ve rolled around in your mind. I’d like to think that we’ll be so radically overawed by the presence of God that any desire we may have to ask questions of people we held in high esteem on earth will evaporate. Besides, nothing of this earth will matter when we get there.
Still… while we’re bound by gravity to this material world, it can be an entertaining thought. Who would I like to meet in Heaven? And what would I want to ask?
I would like to meet the apostle John. Mind you, meeting any of the disciples would be amazing.
John seems so different. As a young man, he and his brother were the “sons of thunder”. They must have wild, and wildly competitive. I want to know what made him so humble. How did he find his identity, his sense of life direction?
John – along with Simon Peter – was present at all of the major events involving Jesus recorded in the New Testament. While Peter would misinterpret, misunderstand and act in a misguided manner, John doesn’t display such impetuousness.
By the time Jesus is on the cross, John is showing signs of maturity. While the other apostles scattered after Jesus’ arrest, John is the remnant who boldly went to Golgotha with his Lord and Savior. Not only that, Jesus entrusts John to care for His mother, Mary.
Through it all, John sets the bar high for humility. In his gospel account, he never refers to himself by name. Rather he is “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. And He puts Christ squarely at the very center of his life. No swashbuckling removal of ears or attempts to garner the Lord’s favor.
John did not find himself in his fishing profession, or his birthplace. John identified himself solely in Jesus Christ, through God’s love – a major theme in John’s gospel and epistles. Love – entirely selfless, wholly perfect – is central to John. And not that John loves Jesus but, rather, that Jesus loves him.
When I get to Heaven, I’d like to ask John how he did it. How did he bear all he did and not grow bitter? How did he stay so humble? How did he find so much strength?
But, I imagine John might simply say, “Shhhh… we’re worshipping right now. After all, the only thing that matters is that He loves us first and unconditionally. We are His.”
Then it would all make sense.