The disciple John defined Himself by Jesus’ love. We can too! You are the one whom Jesus loved. Will you ask Him to help you believe it?
What We Learn From John.
Several times in the gospel of John, He refers to himself as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved‘ (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:20)
The one Jesus loved.
When I read this for the first time years ago, John seemed kind of arrogant to me. The ONE Jesus loved; just who does he think he is?
Was he saying he was MORE loved than the other disciples? I know that idea wasn’t consistent with Jesus’ character in the rest of the Bible. If John thought so, Jesus would have addressed it.
But it still seemed confused. My confusion fueled the desire to know more and prayer asking God to help me understand.
It didn’t come right away. But through continued study over the years, learning about God’s character and attributes, I find myself identifying myself more and more as John did.
I can tell you with certainty, and humility, it is not arrogance.
Jesus Loved John.
John knew he wasn’t more loved by Jesus than his peers.
John was Jesus’ friend and eye-witness to His life. He walked alongside Jesus daily, watching Jesus love everyone He came into contact with.
No matter how sinful, no matter how much they loved or didn’t love Jesus back. Jesus loved ALL people.
It wasn’t prideful of John to claim Jesus’ love. It was humble. John knew just how deep and wide Jesus’ love was for all people and what a special gift it was to be loved by Him.
Jesus’ love is SO important to John that he replaces his own name with Jesus’ love; John’s most important characteristic.
So often, I succumb to a wrong-view of myself. Do you do this too?
We are experts at focusing on negative aspects of our personality, image or actions, aren’t we? Losing sight of our identity in Christ affects our attitudes and hearts.
When who we think we are are doesn’t match who God says we are, we believe a lie. If we let it, this lie steals our joy.
Then too easily, this wrong-thinking begins to infect our actions, thoughts and relationships.
Our Identity Is Rooted in Truth.
What we think about ourselves must be rooted in truth. Who better to tell us who we are than the one who created us in His own image?
How do you identify yourself?
Often, we identify ourselves by what we do – mom, dad, scientist, manager, teacher, student, child, sister, brother, volunteer…
What we do is important, but have you considered your more important, all-encompassing identity?
Not what you do, or who you do it with, but WHO you actually are.
Jesus Christ knows each of us, inside and out. There is nothing you can hide from Him and nothing He doesn’t know about you, good or bad.
We are fully seen.
And fully LOVED.
Do you know this truth in your bones?
Who God Says You Are.
As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, let’s also take time to reflect on who HE says you are?
YOU are SO loved that He purposefully came to earth, fully God and fully man, to save you.
Jesus lived a perfect life, demonstrating perfect love as He interacted with the people HE created.
He knew every sin of every person while speaking truth in love. Yet, He still lovingly healed their bodies and more importantly, their souls.
And, Jesus laid His life down for you and for me, on purpose.
Jesus is the perfect, unblemished Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.
His perfect, sinless blood reconciles sinful, UNHOLY men and women with God.
We can be united with the holy God who cannot be in the presence of our sin. He is SO holy, He needs to be described by repeating holy 3 times; Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Now united with Him through Jesus, what would our life look like if we really lived out our identity as John did?
Who are you?
The One Jesus Loved.
The _________ whom Jesus loved.
Your name belongs there as much as John’s name does.
You’re the mama whom Jesus loved so much He died for her so she can spend eternity with Him.
The daughter whom Jesus loved so much He willingly laid His life down so you can be forgiven.
You’re the manager whom Jesus loved so much He purposefully died on a cross to bear your punishment.
Or the father whom Jesus loved so much, He came to earth to reveal His perfect Father in heaven.
You are the blogger whom Jesus loved so much, He chose to suffer so that you can share in His glory.
Each of us are the one whom Jesus loved and longs to reveal Himself to. You can know with certainty Jesus sees you fully, and you are fully heard, fully known, and despite all your shortcomings, are fully loved.
Will you ask Him to help you believe it?