I have two different things to point out in this post. One is to encourage you by helping (if need be) to see why the Apostle John referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loves.” And second, how the understanding that I have was made more clear through the community of believers.
As we were working through our Sunday School lesson from the Gospel Project this week, we read John’s identifying label “the disciple whom Jesus loves.”
Why do you think he said this about himself? I suppose if you are like me and others you thought that John was not very humble and a bit arrogant to say or suggest such a thing. Or maybe you have just simply passed over it not knowing what to do with it. I’m sure there are more options but if we were honest we all probably didn’t really like what he said too much.
Yet, I think John was displaying bold faith. As we worked through the lesson I made the statement, “That’s some bold faith” to which someone responded something like this, “Yeah…I find it easy to say that I love Jesus but knowing who I am, I struggle to say that Jesus loves me.”
While I saw John’s bold faith, I did not see the underlying problem in my/our heart. The community of believers is a gift and necessary to walk together following Jesus. We all help each other see better than we would or could otherwise. We need each other.
The problem for many of us is that we have a hidden notion and suspicion that Jesus is repulsed by our struggles and failures. We think that Jesus is thinking, “Here we go AGAIN” when in fact he doesn’t move away from us but towards us.
We need bold faith like John. We too should say, as I did in the title, I am a disciple whom Jesus loves. It’s not a license to do what you want but a rescue for our doubting hearts when we fail.
Of course I was writing this to followers of Jesus. But if you are not a follower of Jesus then this is not true of you but it can be right now.
9 …if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:9-13
And strangely, I’m sure, you should know that Jesus loves you! From enemy to friend, he loves those who repent and believe in him. So, will you receive this amazing gift offered to you? He will forgive your every sin and he will count you righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. Will you have him as your all sufficient Savior?
If you do, here’s a new song for you to sing: