One disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, was near him at the table.
Five times in the gospel of John, written by John, John is referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved or the beloved disciple. John is not described this way in the other three gospel accounts. I find this endearing. John grasped something that the others seemed to missed, something that perhaps we miss also. While other disciples were professing their undying love and loyalty, John was basking in the love that Jesus had for him. Maybe John described himself this way because he was trying to get his mind around a truth that was beyond his wildest imaginations. Being the one Jesus loves.
What would it do for us if we could truly get our mind around that truth.
Maybe like John, we need to speak it out more often.
Maybe we need to say out loud, I am the _________ Jesus loves.
I am the _________ Jesus loves.
I am the __________ Jesus loves.
I am the ___________ Jesus loves.
It’s still hard to comprehend and yet I think it was the secret to John’s loyalty to Jesus. The love Peter had for Jesus, the love he kept professing, didn’t keep him from denying Jesus on crucifixion day. But the love Jesus had for John, kept John right there at the foot of the cross, witnessing something way beyond understanding – the One who loved John giving His life for him on the cross. What kind of love is that?
It’s not our love for Jesus that keeps us loyal to Him. It’s His love for us that keeps us. We love Jesus because He first loved us. Not the other way around. We can’t give to anyone what we don’t have. I have to receive the love Jesus has for me if I am to give away love to anyone, no matter how lovable they may be. I personally think our greatest need isn’t to love someone, but it is to be loved by someone. Of all the positive affirmations or confession we can make, maybe we need to begin with this one: I am the ____________ Jesus loves.
Jesus, what a wonder You truly are. Giving of Yourself so freely to me, giving without limits. It is hard to accept that truth; it is mind-boggling and life changing and far beyond anything I could dare ask or hope. Help me to get my mind around that truth, let that truth sink deep into my heart. May Your love so fill me that I overflow to others and may Your love for me keep me loyal to You til the end. I ask in Your loving name. Amen.
pic credit: aholyexperience.com