The One Jesus Loves
Guest Blogger: Jennifer Thompson of the Truly Yours, Jen blog
There are times in the Bible when John refers to a disciple as “the one Jesus loved”.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:1-2
Who is this disciple that Jesus loves so much that he isn’t even called by name?
What did he do to receive such attention?
Who is John referring to when he writes about “the one Jesus loved”?
Who is this person?
You may be surprised to learn this person John is speaking so highly of, is actually himself. He is the one Jesus loved. And he was so familiar with this love and lived his life so connected to that love, that he chose to call himself by this name.
The one Jesus loved.
This is how he refers to himself.
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. John 13:23
Can you imagine if we viewed ourselves through this lens? If we saw ourselves time and time again as the one Jesus loved?
If we were so familiar with that identity that we called ourselves by that name?
The one Jesus loved.
Because here’s the thing, friends. We are all the one Jesus loved. You. Me. That person you think is incredible. That person you would never care to see again. That person who thinks just like you and laughs at all the same jokes and believes all the same things. That person who thinks nothing like you. The one you just don’t get. All of us.
The one Jesus loved.
What if we not only saw ourselves through that lens, but also began to view the people we encounter on a daily basis through that lens as well? How would we treat them? How would our thoughts about them begin to shift?
The person who delivers your mail. The one Jesus loves.
The neighbor walking her dog in front of your house every morning. The one Jesus loves.
The crossing guard. The one Jesus loves.
The person who just passed by you in their car. The one Jesus loves.
Or how about this….
The drug addict. The one Jesus loves.
The adulterer. The one Jesus loves.
The woman lying on the table who just had an abortion. The one Jesus loves.
The homosexual. The one Jesus loves.
The person overcome with anxiety. The one Jesus loves.
The murderer. The one Jesus loves.
The thief. The one Jesus loves.
The person in jail. The one Jesus loves.
The democrat. The one Jesus loves.
The republican. The one Jesus loves.
The liberal. The one Jesus loves.
The conservative. The one Jesus loves.
Because, friends, the love of God is wide and high and deep. It is a vast ocean we can never fully comprehend or fathom. It is the biggest and the greatest and the most incredible thing we will ever encounter.
And it is not reserved for the best. Or the brightest. Or the kindest. Or the most generous. Or the most humble. Yes, of course, it is for them, but it isn’t because of what they have done. Or how good they are.
It is simply because that is the God we love and the God we serve and the God we worship. A God who chose to come and walk in the form of man and die a horrific death. Because of His love. His great, unending, unwavering, sacrificial, all-encompassing love.
Who are you? The one Jesus loves.
Who am I? The one Jesus loves.
Who are we? We are the ones Jesus loves.
God, help me to see myself as you see me. Help me to fully know how much I am loved by you, and that there is nothing I can do, or not do, that will ever change that love. Help me to see others through that same lens. As the ones you love. Give me a heart that breaks for what breaks yours. Thank you for your mercy and your grace and for your love. Thank you for John who reminds us to see ourselves as You see us. Help me to treat those I encounter as the precious people they are.
Let me wear who I am like a banner across my chest, and see all others wearing that same banner.
The one Jesus loves.
Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, stay-at-home mom of four, and wife to her very best friend. Her family recently relocated to a suburb of Nashville and she is holding onto hope that she will some day develop a southern accent. Her work can be found on a variety of websites and a number of parenting publications. Life is full of ups and downs and she hopes her words will point people to Jesus and His unending love, and be a source of encouragement wherever her readers may find themselves in life.