The song “Jesus Loves Me” is still one of my favorite songs. It was a regular nightly bedtime song with my kids and now my granddaughter as well. I listen to Christian music every day that is filled with the message that Jesus loves us. And I’m so thankful as I know there are many in this world who haven’t heard that message that they are loved by God.
You don’t read very far into the gospels in the Bible to see clearly that Jesus loved His disciples and those who followed Him. In fact, Jesus’ love for the world was so incredibly powerful that He was committed to love each one regardless of their love or hatred of Him.
I was thinking of the term of endearment “the disciple whom Jesus loved” the other day. I’ve read those verses in John’s gospel so often and thought at times that John & Jesus must have had an extraordinarily close relationship for that to have been said about John. I’ve wondered if the other disciples were ever jealous to think that Jesus loved John more. So as I looked up all the references to ‘the one whom Jesus loved’ (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20) I realized they were ALL written by John.
All of those Bible verses that called John ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ were in the book of John…written BY John. Boastful? I don’t think so. Teacher & Author, John Piper wrote, “perhaps this is John’s way of saying, “My most important identity is not my name but my being loved by Jesus the Son of God.” He’s not trying to rob anybody else of this privilege; he is simply exulting in it: “I’m loved, I’m loved, I’m loved — that’s who I am. I’m loved by Jesus.”*
What if we began to write that phrase about ourselves on the pages of our journal, our calendars, how about the home screen of our phone and computer? Your name…and these five words: The one whom Jesus loves. Would that begin to change how we love ourselves? how we love each other? Do we truly walk in the understanding that we are loved by Jesus?
Where can you write those words today about yourself? Your name…followed by these words,…the one whom Jesus loves. Because it is true. You are loved!
* John Piper (John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.