“That Disciple Whom Jesus Loved”

“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.'” (John 21:7)

Although there is some debate about just who “the disciple whom Jesus loved” might be, verse 2 of this chapter tells us that on this occasion, the only ones present were Peter, Thomas(Didymus), Nathaniel, James, John, “and two others.” The traditional view that this is John’s humble way of referring to himself makes sense. But that phrase portrays a humble posture, which all of God’s people would do well to adopt.  

Rather than claim anything special about himself — like being “THE John” who said and did so much in the gospels, and whose name and reputation were known across the world — he merely called himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It is a humble ascription, which points people AWAY from himself — his name, his actions, reputation, and so on — and TO Jesus. To put it another way: the only really notable thing about him is that he was loved by Jesus!

This is the kind of attitude that God’s servants today should model as well. It is not all about us; it is all about Jesus. There is nothing particularly notable about us, except that we are ones whom Jesus loves; ones to whom Jesus has shown His mercy and grace. Let us exhibit John’s same attitude and focus: It is not about me. I am nothing special in and of myself. It is all about Jesus. I am just “that disciple whom Jesus loves.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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