“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23)
How did the apostle John earn the highly respected and noteworthy title of, “The one whom Jesus loved?” The answer to this question has always evaded me, until tonight, that is.
Tonight’s the night that I needed help. Tonight’s the night that my friend Ron came out to help me. Ron gave me about three hours of his time, and helped me when I needed it. Ron is a friend, indeed.
Because I really needed the help – and even more so than I had originally anticipated prior to calling Ron up on the phone – my level of appreciation for Ron was made greater.
I remember at the end of those three hours, when Ron had to leave, and his help had been received, I said to Ron, “Thank you, Ron, for helping me out.” Now something deep inside of me really FELT that appreciation. It was not just words. I LOVED Ron for helping me out.
I was a little startled at how I felt, to be honest about it. I had not expected that I would feel the LOVE for Ron that I did. But I DID feel that love for him. And I know why. Because Ron helped me out when I needed it.
I was pondering this a little afterwards, and I don’t think it is by accident, or a coincidence, that I started to suddenly think about the apostle John in the Scriptures. The apostle John is the one that the Bible records as being the “one whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23 above).
Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about why John was given that very honorable and noble title? It is because, without any question or doubt, John was one who SERVED Jesus with his whole heart and made himself available to Jesus for outward acts of service. Like Ron was to me, John was “there” for Jesus when he needed him.
John earned that title for a reason. He earned that title because he was a servant of Jesus. Jesus LOVED John because John’s HEART and his ACTIONS were in the right place.
Well, I think it is fair to say that, to the extent that we really make it our aim to SERVE God from a pure and undefiled heart, and to the extent that we make ourselves available to God for his purposes, to that same extent, Jesus will LOVE us!
Oh, I know. Jesus loves everyone. That’s true. But if you read the Scriptures carefully, you’ll find out that Jesus has a SPECIAL love — like he did for John — for those who truly make it their aim to serve God in purity and in truth. (See John 14:21 quoted below.)
May it be said of YOU and ME that Jesus LOVES us, because we are truly SERVANTS of his! SERVE God, and be LOVED of God, as a result of it. There’s no life like it!
Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED of my Father, and I WILL LOVE HIM, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21 – emphasis added.)