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The One Jesus Loved

In the Bible, the phrase "the one Jesus loved" refers to the disciple John, also known as John the Apostle or John the Evangelist. John is mentioned in several key moments throughout the New Testament, particularly in the Gospel of John and in the book of Revelation. His relationship with Jesus provides profound insights and lessons that resonate with you and me today.

John was one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus during his ministry on Earth. He was part of the inner circle of disciples, along with Peter and James, who were present at pivotal moments such as the Transfiguration and the Garden of Gethsemane. The phrase "the one Jesus loved" underscores a deep bond of affection and trust between Jesus and John.

You would think that if John had been the disciple whom Jesus loved, then John would have been a stellar, top-of-the-class disciple, but he wasn't. In fact, John was hyper-competitive. He wanted the best seat in the Kingdom. He and his brother James were so troublesome that Jesus nicknamed them "sons of thunder." And yet, Jesus loved Him and welcomed him into His closest circle of followers and friends.

The two were so close that John reclined against Jesus as Jesus served the Lord's Supper during His final Passover with the disciples. Not only was John close to Jesus relationally, but He grew to be more like Jesus and to show Jesus' love for him in how he lived. John lived longer than any of the other disciples, and as he aged, the rough, competitive, self-serving John was transformed into a man who loved people, loved the Lord, and endured much persecution and harm because he was the one that Jesus loved.

Takeaways from John's Relationship with Jesus

1. Intimacy and Trust: John’s closeness to Jesus demonstrates the importance of intimacy in spiritual relationships. Jesus trusted John deeply, sharing moments and insights with him that were not always shared with others. This closeness emphasizes the value of building a personal relationship with God through prayer, reflection, and the study of scripture.

2. Loyalty and Commitment: John remained steadfast in his commitment to Jesus even during difficult times, such as Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. His loyalty serves as a reminder of the importance of standing firm in our faith, even in the face of adversity or doubt. John would also stay faithful to Jesus when he, John, was boiled alive but did not die.

3. Learning and Understanding: John’s writings, particularly in his Gospel and in Revelation, reflect a deep understanding of Jesus’ teachings and the significance of his life, death, and resurrection. As followers of Christ, we can learn from John’s example by continually seeking to deepen our knowledge and understanding of God’s word.

4. Love and Compassion: John’s portrayal of Jesus emphasizes love as a central theme. Known for his emphasis on God’s love for humanity and the commandment to love one another, John highlights the transformative power of love in our lives and communities.

Application to Our Lives Today

1. Cultivating Intimacy with God: Just as John nurtured his relationship with Jesus, we can cultivate intimacy with God through prayer, meditation, and studying scripture. This intimacy strengthens our faith and guides our actions.

2. Remaining Steadfast in Faith: John’s loyalty to Jesus encourages us to remain steadfast in our faith during challenging times. Trusting in God’s plan and purpose for our lives helps us navigate difficulties with hope and perseverance.

3. Growing in Knowledge and Understanding: Like John, we can deepen our understanding of God’s word and apply its teachings to our daily lives. This knowledge equips us to make wise decisions and live according to God’s will.

4. Practicing Love and Compassion: John’s emphasis on love challenges us to demonstrate compassion and kindness towards others, reflecting God’s love in our interactions and relationships.

In conclusion, John, known as "the one Jesus loved," offers us a compelling example of discipleship and spiritual growth. His relationship with Jesus underscores the importance of intimacy, loyalty, learning, and love in our journey of faith. By applying these lessons to our lives today, we can deepen our relationship with God and positively impact those around us.

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