The Disciple Jesus Loved?

When you read through the book of John, you’ll see a specific individual referenced, but never by name…

“The disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Now, we know that this references the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest/best friends, but John never actually names himself… I wonder why that is? And we’ll get to that at the end, but think about it for a minute…

What a pretentious title to give yourself.

Imagine if I walked around calling myself “The citizen whom the president loved”. And not because he ever specifically said, “I love you most”, but because I believed that I was really loved by him.

You would think I was crazy, arrogant, and stuck up!

But that is not what John intended at all. Continue reading

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Discipleship, Glory, and Family

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
John 19:26-27

“Here is your son, here is your mother.”  What just transpired here?  Jesus is dying and He commands that they should take care of each other.  Why did he take the time for this?  John son of Zebedee was Jesus’ cousin, so by the natural family patterns, it wouldn’t have been odd if he was the one to take care of Mary when Jesus was gone.  So why did He take the time to tell him, if that is the way it was supposed to be anyway?  There are many reasons: He wanted to make sure his mother was cared for, maybe to hold them accountable because everyone else was standing around and could see, and would now know that they need to take care of each other, but I think the biggest reason was to finish setting up that community He had started to build, that community of discipleship.  See, as a disciple of something, in this case Christ, you are to bring glory to what you follow.  So we as Disciples of Christ are to bring glory to Christ.  Jesus’ mother did this early on in John 2 when she brings to Jesus’ attention the lack of wine.  She says, “They are out of wine.”  She doesn’t ask him to do something, but yet, her request is implicit.  And Jesus answers, “It is not yet my time”.  But she, perhaps without realizing it because she probably did not understand what He was talking about when he was talking about it not being his time, she tells them to do whatever Jesus’ commanded.  In that way, she brought Jesus glory.  Another job of a disciple is to be close to the master, John being one of the closest.  At the last supper, John had the most prestigious seat, with his head by Jesus, that would be the position that put John leaning against Jesus, which more literally means “to be at his bosom.”  He was close to Jesus.  So what we see here is that Jesus forms that community of true disciples, by having the two who are probably the truest examples of what a disciple is, he starts building a generation of disciples, and this is the community that will support each other until the holy spirit comes.  This community becomes a family, and that is how we are to live our lives, as true disciples: bringing glory to Christ, and being close to him, and as true disciples, we are to live as a family.  “Here is your mother, here is your son.”