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The Disciple Jesus loves

Holy Week Devotions  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As we continue our journey through Holy Week, we’re still in the Upper Room. I want to focus on a very small little segment here. Because it is significant, because this relationships obviously changed one persons life on earth completely, so much so that as many as 60 years later he is still writing of it. Note how John describes himself in verse 23 of our passage below.
Jn
John 13:23–25 ESV
One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”
“One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved,...” John does not describe himself as an apostle, a disciples, an evangelist…No. John self describes himself most often as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It sounds so arrogant, but it’s spoken from a place not of compensation but of pure grace. John understands that there is nothing he has done to earn that love, he is just loved. Why? Why would Jesus love him?
John recognized that to love is simply a part of God’s character, and therefore of Jesus’ character as well. In three years of travelling and learning from his Rabbi, he now reclined at the table in the Upper Room next to Him. He leans back against his Rabbi and asks the question.
Picture the scene. 12 men gathered in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover together. The natural places of honor would be next to the host - Jesus.
What do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel?
And there is John physically leaning back against Jesus. There is no sense of “I am judged”, or “fear”. There is security, John knows he is loved. Obviously this left an indelible mark on his life.
In his first pastoral letter John would write:
1 John 4:7–8 ESV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:18 ESV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Shortly before this verse we read these beautiful verses, read them slowly:
:
1Jn 4:7-
1 John 4:7–12 ESV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
It is God’s nature to love and therefore Jesus’ nature as well.
Think of times you have felt most loved. Try and think of times where it wasn’t in response to something you’d done or said, but you were simply loved without any requirements. That is how God loves you.
God loves us deeply, profoundly, for nothing we have done, simply because it is God’s nature to love. God loves us at great cost - His one and only Son, Jesus. God loves you.
Read these words:
God loves me.
God loves me.
I matter to God because God made me.
God loves me.
God sent Jesus to die for my sins in my place.
God loves me.
Pray and thank God for the love He has for you. As a follower of Jesus, you too can claim the title of “the Disciple Jesus loves.” Lay claim to this as your identity, you are a child of God. AMEN.
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