The writer of the book of John refers to himself throughout this gospel as the disciple who Jesus loved.

Presumptuous? Nervy? Audacious? Smug?

Consider this scene from the last supper in John 13.

Jesus—troubled in spirit—announces to the gathering, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”

His disciples study one another warily, wondering which among them is the traitor.

One of them—the disciple whom Jesus loves—is reclining next to him.

Simon Peter motions to this disciple and says, “Ask him which one he means.”

Leaning back against Jesus, he asks him, “Lord, who is it.” From John 13:21-25

So, which is the one?
Which is the one who Jesus loves?

Here’s the thorny part . . . he loves them both.
The disciple who betrays Jesus is as loved as the one who knows he is loved.

The intimacy, mystery and divine love so poignantly depicted in this unique gospel make it clear—John is not boasting here in what he has! He is writing from a place of deep intimacy, humility and profound knowing—that beyond the shadow of a doubt, beyond all his failure and inadequacy—Jesus loves him as he’s never been loved before. He loves as he is loved.

You can almost hear John lean into the Lord—This is where I belong. This is where I am made whole. This is the One in whom I am uniquely and perfectly loved! I am the one that Jesus loves.

This is no boast but a powerful declaration and discovery of his true identity!

Are you able to see yourself as the one who Jesus loves?

Let this be a year of leaning in to Love.

In your personal time with the Lord, practice identity declarations like this one—

“I am the one who Jesus loves.”

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