When the invisible life is felt and known, do not disdain to follow it into whatever visible thing it leads. Let not thy wisdom be judge what the life will lead into, or what the life is to be followed in; but let the life itself be judge: and let the child, which is born of the life, follow it singly.
In 2007–2008 David Johnson was led to read the Gospel of John verse by verse. For eight months he read nothing else, and the Spirit took him through the gospel, opening its meaning for him. This experience convinced him that the gospel is not just a record of Jesus’ ministry; it is also a consummate guide to the spiritual life. The reader starts at the beginning and progressively enters more and more deeply into a relationship of holy faithfulness with Jesus.
John’s gospel on Jesus opens up a new spiritual world that concentrates on our being in the here and now. Jesus demolishes religious, cultural, and gender walls to reveal a way of being that transcends these regulations. The spirituality of Jesus is eternal and universal and is of the heart, not of buildings and doctrines. This was clearly stated by the Apostle Peter, speaking about Jesus’ ministry in The Inclusive Bible (TIB): I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality—rather, that any person of any nationality who fears God, and does what is right is acceptable to God (Acts 10:34–35). It is time to recover the wonderful impact of Jesus’ teachings anew.
About the author
David Johnson is a member of Queensland Regional Meeting of the Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. He has a long commitment to nonviolence and opposing war and the arms trade and has worked with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. David delivered the 2005 Backhouse Lecture, entitled Peace Is a Struggle, to Australia Yearly Meeting. He is also the author of A Quaker Prayer Life. He helped establish the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre in Australia in 2010 and was co-director of the Centre 2013–2014.