John referred to himself five times as the disciple Jesus loved. But didn’t Jesus love all twelve of the disciples? Oh, yes, even the one who would betray Him. So what must John have had in mind when five times he wrote that he was the one whom Jesus loved?
I would argue that John was the most intimate of Jesus’ disciples because he always seemed to be close by. Sometimes his motivation was not good; he appeared to be a social climber, but he was there! He was loved, but he was disciplined and rebuked as well. Time spent with Jesus has a way of chiseling off the rough spots.
John said that he had “lain on Jesus’ bosom” during the last meal together. I believe there John “drew close enough to hear the beat of His heart, to feel the heat of his love, to smell the aroma of his presence and to touch the breast that breathes life anew,” as is my oft stated desire.
John was among the disciples who slept at the last when Jesus asked for their support as he, Jesus, went to prayer. I wonder if that failure is what gave John the determination not to fail again! He was a witness to Jesus’ trial (John 18:15) and he was there when Jesus died (John 19:26). In the end John’s dedication was rewarded. Jesus would have died with one more burden – who would care for his mother – but for John. He was there when Jesus needed him!
Why do my thoughts so often end up with a lesson for me? Am I there when he needs me to care for someone he loves?
(image from Pixabay)