The phrase “the disciple Jesus loved” or “the one Jesus loved” is noted more than once in the book of John. It makes you question, who was this disciple and why was this disciple singled out as the one Jesus loved? We see this phrase in John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2, John 21:7, and John 21:10.
Through various studies of the Word we come to know that this mystery disciple is John himself. A beautiful lesson that can be taken away from John’s description of himself is that he knew how fully he was loved by Jesus. Knowing that we are God’s beloved children is an identity that can never be lost; a foundation that can never be shaken.
So how can we live in love? 1 John 4:7-12 says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” The connection explained here between God’s love an ours explains that love is more than a feeling. It is a consistent attitude of giving ourselves to God and to others.
In the first epistle of John, 1 John 5:2, He says that believers know that they love one another by loving God and carrying out his commands. The next verse, 1 John 5:3, says “in fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” We learn here how closely connected love is to obedience.
When reading through John, I was truly captivated between the relationship between him and Jesus. Though Jesus loved all his disciples, the intimate bond he shared with John appealed to me, as it should everyone. Imagine if everyone craved that type of closeness to Jesus! When someone asks me who I am in my faith, I want wholeheartedly to tell the I AM the one whom Jesus Loves.
To know love is to know God.