Observers, Students and Disciples by David Johnson on June 26, 2012 Welcome to Life, Hope & and Truth. Whether this is your first time to visit with us or you’ve come here many times before, we believe you’ll find this is a special place. A website like this tends to draw three types of visitors, and we hope to provide a valuable service for each one. We really don’t need to know what type you are, but it may be important for you to know. It may surprise you to know that, throughout the Bible, God’s messengers have presented God’s words to the same three types of listeners. The preaching of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, the 12 apostles and even Jesus Christ Himself fell upon the ears of these same three groups. The first and probably most common group is made up of the curious—those who have at least a passing interest in what is being said. We might call them observers, because they want to observe what is taking place; but they are not sure they’re ready to do anything more. Thousands flocked to Jesus when it was convenient as He spoke in Galilee and Jerusalem; but after His death, they continued their lives as if nothing had happened. While His teaching and miracles attracted and impressed them, they really weren’t interested in going any further. The second group of listeners—then and now—is made up of people who are more than curious. They see knowledge of the spiritual as an important part of life. They enjoy listening to those who reinforce their beliefs and usually even enjoy it when the preacher challenges those who are living their lives as if spiritual matters are unimportant. We could call this second group students, because they are interested in learning more—at least as long as what they are learning is consistent with what they already believe to be right. However, they often begin to lose interest when the preacher’s words challenge their beliefs. The religious leaders who came from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley to hear the preaching of John the Baptist were a lot like that. In the minds of many, John seemed to be cut from the same cloth as the great Old Testament prophets. They enjoyed hearing John tell the masses they needed to repent; but when John told them they needed to repent too, the scribes, Pharisees and priests decided they had heard enough. The third and, understandably, the smallest group are those known as disciples. The searchers who make up this group are curious about biblical matters, but their interest doesn’t stop at curiosity. Like the students, they are also eager to learn, but for them, having head knowledge isn’t enough. They want to learn how to live like Jesus Christ. As the apostle John put it, they want to come to know Jesus Christ and to walk as He walked. Whichever group you are in—and that choice is yours alone—we believe Life, Hope & Truth will provide the information and encouragement you’re looking for. Life, Hope & Truth. Stay and visit with us for a while, and come back often. For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m David Johnson.