We may think that Jesus loved John a little more than the other disciples. After all, the Bible calls him, “John, the disciple that Jesus loved.” But if we read all four gospels we find that it is only in the book that John wrote where he is referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. We don’t think John was Jesus’ favorite. We think John simply had a revelation of God’s love for him.
“One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder” John 13:24
This scripture reveals that God’s love is relational. It is a beautiful picture of the disciples sharing a meal together, giving and receiving love, real love from one another and Jesus. These men were not your typical “Christians.”They didn’t grow up in Sunday school. They weren’t really the best of the best or admired among their community. They were salty fisherman and tax collectors.
People who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus. They genuinely liked him and were comfortable around him.
The reason people who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus, is because Jesus liked people who were nothing like him. Jesus not only liked them, but he invited them to follow him. He went to their house for dinner. He was not uncomfortable hanging out with people who were far from him. The truth is, if God didn’t love sinners He wouldn’t have anyone to love.
The second time John uses the phase “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 19:25-26) was at the cross. This reveals that God’s love is sacrificial. The cross is the greatest representation of love. Possibly the most famous verse in the world is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..” Sometimes we think that God dispenses his love with an eyedropper, but actually His love fills the ocean! No matter who you are, what you have done, how many times you’ve crossed the line, you have not and will never be able to “out sin” the grace of God. Jesus wasn’t just enough for or only enough for the small sins. No! Jesus was an over-payment for our sins.
The third time John writes the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2) was at the empty tomb. God’s love is all powerful. The tomb being empty was a complete game changer. It is EVERYTHING. What does the empty tomb mean? It means there is a God. And HE LOVES US!!! He rose to be with us! Her rose so we could be with him! You might be tempted to write this story off as a religious fairy-tale, but the Bible offers many convincing proofs. Jesus appeared to over 500 people. We see the truth of his resurrection in the changed lives of the disciples. They preached the gospel with boldness and died for their faith.
There are two more times that John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Discover the transformational truth of John’s words Sunday April 23rd and 30th.
Join us on the North Campus at 9:30am & 11:30am and
on the South Campus at 9:30am, 11:15am, and 12:45pm