“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” With these equally simple and profound words, John introduces us to Jesus Christ.
John wrote of Jesus as one who knew Him well. He journeyed with Jesus through towns and fields, on foot and in boats, with crowds of people and at family dinners. He watched Jesus heal the sick, encourage the hopeless, deliver the tormented, and raise the dead to life. He listened to sermons and Scripture readings, and he marveled at His ability to speak with authority as well as authenticity. He observed Jesus confront and confound the self-righteous Pharisees. He heard Him pray intimately and intensely.
John and the other disciples spent day after day in His presence. And yet even with Jesus’ perfect example always before them, John and the other men were…men. They were flawed. Selfish. Petty. Impatient. Foolish. Weary. Stubborn. Judgmental. Worried. Unbelieving. Greedy. Impulsive. Confused. They followed Jesus from place to place, making mistakes and saying stupid things right up until He was hung on the cross.
Somehow, however, in the midst of all of the busy and messy moments, John felt loved. So much so, that he never mentions himself by name in the whole book of John. His identity became the disciple “whom Jesus loved”.
Oh, that we would begin to identify ourselves with the same confidence in our relationship with Jesus Christ, and live with the sureness of His love for each one of us. My prayer as we read the book of John is to encounter Jesus as if He is calling to us for the first time, “Come, follow me!” I pray that we will watch with wonder as He works miracles, and that we will hear His words with fresh ears and open hearts. I pray that we will meet Him in the busyness and the messiness of our journeys and know that we are the disciples whom Jesus loves.
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.” John 15:9