It's quiz time folks. Not a tough (for regular
Bible reader's) question comes your way. Name the disciple whom Jesus
loved. If your answer is John, Son of Zebedee, brother of James, pat
yourself on the back. Light-hearted introduction apart, if we look at
the implications of the John's unique ID "Disciple, Jesus loved", there
are some serious lessons to be gleaned. Of course, Jesus loved other
disciples too, but if Scripture says that the Sovereign Lord loved John
more, it is in perfect consonance with the teaching in other parts of
the Scripture such as
Exodus 33:19 and
Hey, some weighty privileges are bound to come visiting if you are loved by Jesus...John's life and Ministry is a classic case in point. In this series of three parts, I would like to take the Nugget readership on a tour of privileges which "chased" John the Beloved...
Mind you, originally John and James (both brothers) were named by Jesus himself considering their hot temper as "Sons of Thunder". One needn't go beyond their fiery reaction to Samaritans inhospitality (Luke 9:51-54) to substantiate the truth about their short fuse. While James was martyred early in his ministry, John actually outlived other apostles mellowing all along with age. The Master sculptor (2 Cor 3:18) had fashioned John into a Masterpiece-fleshing out Jesus' love-by the time his earthly sojourn ended.
There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples. At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, "Little children, love one another!" After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, "Master, why do you always say this?" "It is the Lord's command," was His reply (John 13:34-35). "And if this alone be done, it is enough!" Difficult to believe isn't it, that this once easily excitable "Son of thunder"--all fire and brimstone in his younger years--could now be so warm-hearted personifying the Lord's command? It was effect of love (another name for Jesus -- 1 John 4:8) that John was eating, drinking, and breathing the topic of love not only in his preaching but also in his writing. His three epistles written presumably in his old age exude love. How true, we love because Jesus first loves us (1 John 4:19)...His love in our hearts (Romans 5:5) translates into reverence for God and compassion for fellow beings.
Say Reader, have you trusted Jesus to "metamorphose" (read reform you)? All of us by birth are sinners selfish to the core. All of us need a "born-again experience", which only faith in Jesus can bring about (John 1:12/Galatians 3:26) liberating us from our selfishness. It is not your fault that you are born a sinner but it would be your fault if you die as one, without "allowing" Jesus to bring about a reformation in your life by His mighty power.
What is the proof that you have reciprocated to the person who has loved you with agape love? Answer: You are bound to remain with him in his moment of crisis. Is it any wonder then, John alone of all the disciples was beside Jesus at the Cross, when the Saviour was spending his last hours in excruciating agony? To whom should Jesus the eldest son of Mary, entrust the responsibility of taking care of his mother's welfare other than to the Disciple whom he loved (John 19:26-27). Say Brother, is Jesus entrusting you with more responsibilities in your ministry for His glory? Rejoice for it is a vindication of his love (basis for trust) for you. Didn't somebody say love and trust are bedfellows!!!
Prayer: Father what greater privilege can there be there than to be known as a person loved by You. Help all of those of us, who have tasted Your love to live lives worthy of our calling. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
An Unprofitable Servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "Your ID Please" mini-series, please click here.)