John’s Love

The disciple John chose a nickname for himself: the disciple whom Jesus loved.

He defined himself by the love of Jesus. He knew what love was because He had known Jesus.

When a woman finds out that she is expecting a baby, she often starts eating differently, exercising differently, and planning differently. You can tell that she already loves the little life that is growing inside of her because she puts the baby’s needs and preferences ahead of her own.

Maybe she used to drink lots of coffee, but now, she chooses water. She used to do kickboxing, but now, she chooses gentle aerobics. She was planning to use the extra room in her house for an office, but now, it will be a nursery!

Love causes us to prefer someone else’s needs and desires before our own.

Jesus put John’s needs before His own. John heard Jesus pray for him even when Jesus was exhausted. John saw Jesus take the time to answer his questions when He could have done something else. John saw Jesus die on the cross to shoulder the punishment for sin. Jesus’s love spoke so loudly to John that he never stopped talking about it!

One time, when they were traveling together, John, Jesus, and the disciples saw a man who had been born blind. The disciples thought they knew that the blindness was a result of sin, but they wondered if it was the man’s sin (committed before he had ever been born) or the sin of his parents that God was judging.

Jesus helped them all to see the man differently as He said, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” In love, Jesus gave preference to the condemned man.

And Jesus displayed those works by healing the man! The whole neighborhood couldn’t believe that it was really the same guy!

John saw Jesus reach out in love to do something miraculous that no one else had ever done. Then, when the healed man was thrown out of the synagogue, Jesus showed His love again by finding the man and telling him to believe in the Son of Man. Jesus opened the man’s spiritual eyes as well.

When the man could see both physically and spiritually, he was born again as a child of God. Just as even the smallest baby recognizes his mother, every child of God recognizes Love. The man was changed, knew what love was, and now, was ready to venture into the world as a witness to that Love.

Having witnessed all this, John was also changed. John said, “God is love” because Jesus had been a walking, talking definition!

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