In his gospel, the Apostle John didn’t refer to himself by name. The only John mentioned in the Gospel of John is John the Baptist. John the disciple referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23, John 20:2, John 2:17, John 21:20)
Now some people jokingly say – sure, you can call yourself “The ONE Jesus Loved” when you write your own book. True enough. But I have a different opinion of this designation John chose for himself.
John’s whole identity was wrapped up in the fact the Jesus loved him. He, a lowly fisherman, an arrogant “Son of Thunder” who argued about who was the greatest, was loved by Jesus.
By calling himself “the one Jesus loved,” I believe John is emphasizing that Jesus is a lover of the unlovely. By identifying himself as one loved by Jesus, he is offering a tribute to Jesus, not to himself – the recipient of that love.
Because John was confident in the love the Jesus had for him, he leaned on Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper. Because of His love for him, John remained at the cross and thus Jesus entrusted His mother to John’s care. Because of Jesus’ love for him, John ran ahead of Peter to the empty tomb and later recognized Jesus on the shore while he was out on the lake hauling in a miraculous catch of fish.
Because of that assurance of the love that Jesus had for him, John replaced his given name with the description “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” That became his whole identity.
Jesus loves you as much as He loved John. Can you do the same as John?
Can you replace your name in the phrase “the disciple Jesus loved.?”
Can you look in the mirror and say, “Good morning, self. You are loved by the Savior. No matter how you’ve stumbled, you are still infinitely and unconditionally loved.”
Now say it in the first person, “I am ___(insert your name), a child of God, a disciple that Jesus loves. Yes, I am loved.”
If you have children, don’t you want them to know that they are loved, no matter what they might have done wrong? Don’t you want them to have that assurance?
Well child of God, Jesus wants you to have the same assurance of His love for you. That is your true identity – you are a “disciple that Jesus loves.” And nothing can change that.
Knowing that you are so loved allows you to love others with the love you have received from Christ.
Can you look at your husband, your family, your coworker, that annoying person at the market, the rude driver on the road, and can you say, “she (or he) is one that Jesus loves.”
How will that change how you go through your day?
What if we all were to experience His love and share it in our conversations, on our social media, in our actions? We would not only live more fulfilling lives, we would change the world.
- Be hospitable
- God Will Make a Way