In the first three occurrences we learn these truths about the love of God:
God’s love is relational.
God’s love is sacrificial.
God’s love is unstoppable
The fourth time John writes the phrase, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” we learn that God’s love is overwhelmingly good.
After Jesus rose from the dead the disciples were a little bit confused and conflicted. Some of them decided to go back to what they knew. They went fishing. But it was a sad uneventful fishing trip and they didn’t catch a single thing all night. In the morning, a man on the shore encouraged them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat. And when they did, they caught a net breaking, boat sinking load of fish.
In that moment, John recognizes the man on the shore.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” John 21:7 NIV
John recognized Jesus in boat load of 153 large fish because it wasn’t the first time that Jesus poured out abundant blessings. He knew this kind of thing was in the character and heart of Jesus.
He had seen Jesus turn 180 gallons of water into fine wine. He had watched as Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 with just a five loaves of bread and two fish.
There was a pattern of generosity, of more-than-enough in Jesus’ life on earth. In fact, Jesus himself is the ultimate expression of the goodness of God.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 NIV
God wants us to believe that he is good all the time. He wants us to focus our attention on his goodness.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Romans 12:1 The Message
When your eyes are fixed on God’s goodness, his joy and peace, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are loved.