Tuesday, July 8, 2008

From 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'

What i shared at combined cell two weeks ago.

How shallow is my love... I recognise this in my heart whenever i measure my love to Jesus'.

The thing is, i think Jesus knows this better than me. Yet He does not want me to hang my head down because of this.

The journey through the book of John led me to one main conclusion - think of Jesus' love for me more than mine for Him. And it was the disciple John himself who set the best example for me.

In 5 instances in this book, John described himself as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. Sounds prideful? Well i would think more humble was he who 'masked his identity' behind a name that simply proclaims all about God's love, forgetting his own name and absorbing himself in the sea of the truest love - that of Jesus.

Peter, on the other hand, was the one who said to Jesus "I will lay down my life for You, Lord!' (John 13:37) and who struck the high priest's servant right ear before Jesus' capture. By word and by deed, he showed his deep love for Jesus but probably proclaiming louder this - 'I AM the one who loves the Lord!'.

Let me share with you 5 benefits that i observed John got in his gospel:

1. Proximity to Jesus
John 13:23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to Him.

We really learn to lean on Jesus for intimacy, answers... all that we need.

2. Becoming Fit for Service
John 19:25-27 (Hanging on the Cross), 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.

John, the only disciple at the Cross with Jesus, became a vessel for the Lord's use.

3. Propelled forward by Love
John 20:1-4 ... she (Mary Magdalene) 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!" Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16a); the Bible does not record anything unimportant. I believe John outran Peter because he was propelled by Jesus' love for him, no longer on his own strength.

4. Quick and sharp Spiritual Perception
John 21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

After all these while as Jesus was standing before his disciples to give them verbal instructions which led to the miraculous catch, 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' was the first to recognise the Lord and discern His divine hand here.

5. A Heart that keeps Following
John 21: 19b-20 He (Jesus) said to him (Peter), "Follow me!"
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them

Jesus did not see the need to call John to follow Him, as He called Peter. John was already following all these while.

Instead of singing 'i love Jesus', let's first be convicted deeply in our hearts 'Jesus loves me'. John reiterated this idea in 1 John 4:19 'We love because He first loved us'.

His is the true everlasting and trustworthy love that is sure even when we fail Him. Abide in His love, from the One who has truly laid down His life for us.



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