Gotta love John...
I mean seriously. How can you not love a guy who writes a Gospel, gets it published in the Bible, and calls himself “the disciple that Jesus loved” throughout the entire thing. I would imagine that the other disciples would routinely sneak yeast into his unleavened bread…just to get back at him.
And yet there he is, always with Jesus. In fact, he was in Jesus’ inner-circle of BFF’s along with Peter and James. Not only that, but he was also the ONLY disciple that didn’t leave Jesus’ side the entire journey to the cross. There’s something to this guy. As I have been reading through the Gospel of John this past week I can’t help but notice an underlying current that moves the entire Gospel as we read.
That underlying current I speak of is “love.”
From the very first verse to the closing sentence, I notice that John makes a special effort in drawing attention to all the times Jesus uses the word “love.” In the rebuking of the overly-religious Jesus says that they LOVE appearance more than obeying God and in the His conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 He speaks of how much God LOVES the world.
However, in the midst of all these encounters in the book of John, I notice this one statement that echoes above all others when Jesus makes this declaration:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
To “love like Jesus" is a pretty tall order. But when you begin to take it from the large statement that it is and break it down into your everyday motives, thoughts, and intentions, you will begin to see exactly HOW Jesus loves.
It’s our daily actions that puts a megaphone to the mouth of Christ-in-us and let’s the world know that Jesus is very real and very interested in their souls. It shouts from the rooftops that LOVE is the mark of everyone who has had their hearts set on fire by the Son of God. It’s the defining sign that not only marks us as Believers, but shows that we are believers.
So while John may initially come off like a brown-nosing boy getting everything he wanted at his Bar Mitzvah, in reality, he is simply saying something that he discovered long ago and something that we need to grasp today: “Jesus LOVES us!” And once we let that revelation sink into our hearts, it will change the world.