Thursday, December 18, 2008

The One Jesus Loves

We all yearn for acceptance, to be seen and be loved. When we are attempting to fulfill those needs by approaching others we often become disappointed. They are not perfect either, and will in many instances be preoccupied with their own problems or they are perhaps too busy trying to fulfill their own needs in a gratifying way.

In the gospel after John we find two rather peculiar passages: “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means" (13:23-24).

In a later chapter he writes: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (19:26-27).

Did Jesus love just one of the disciples? Or did he love one of them more than the others? This doesn’t quite correspond with: “For God does not show favoritism” (Rom 2:11). There must be a different explanation. Who is the person the writer is referring to? It is himself! John is referring to himself in his own gospel!

John had come to believe that Jesus loved him and this knowledge gave him boldness and confidence in the presence of Jesus. This stands out as an example on how close God wants to bring us to himself.

Since John had this revelation it was he Peter enquired to ask Jesus about who the person was that would betray Him. It was him Jesus gave the special mission to take care of His mother. This is just another example on how God has higher thoughts than us.

In the world you will get a promotion or get prestigious tasks if you have a record of proficiency, faithfulness, diligence and endurance. We also find this rewarding system in many churches. Here, however, John is given the astonishing mission of taking care of Jesus’ mother on account of that he knew that he was loved by God’s son!

It is only God who can love us in such a manner that we feel completely accepted and safe. He always has time for us, and he cares for even the smallest details in our lives. There is nothing more important to God than to lead us to this understanding, because He takes pleasure in in bringing us to a position where we feel safe, accepted and loved.

Further on, this understanding of being accepted and loved will give us a new and unprecedented freedom to live boldly in His presence. Now, when we know that we are loved by Him we will no longer seek out other sources for the gratification of our inner yearnings.

We will be perceived as confident people to whom He can share His innermost secrets, because we are only preoccupied with Him, and not what others might think of us. We do not longer so easy succumb to other people’s opinions. We are predictable and faithful in a troubled world. Let God love you – this will change yours and other people’s lives!

No comments: