Summary: Jesus has many servants but few lovers.
Are You God’s Favorite?
If you’re not, you can be and should be! Before you write me off as some crackpot, hear me out. I know the bible says God shows no favoritism (Deut 10:17, Acts 10:34, Ro 2:11 etc.) However, the Apostle John definitely considered himself to be loved in a special, extraordinary way by Jesus, compared to the other disciples. John was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus, and of the three he was the closest. He (John) describes himself as "the one whom Jesus loved" and he meant loved more than the others. The other disciples recognized this fact also.
"When he had said this, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" Jn 13:21-25
When Peter wanted to know who Jesus was talking about when he said, "one of you will betray me," he asked John who was reclining on Jesus’ breast to find out. John was Jesus’ closest and best friend. When all the disciples including Peter deserted Jesus when He was dying on the cross, John was there at Jesus’ side. He was the only man present along with three women. John was the one Jesus entrusted with the care of His own mother. He was the one whom Jesus loved and he was Jesus’ best friend.
Martha’s sister Mary also had this kind closeness to Jesus. When Jesus was around all she wanted to do was sit at His feet and listen to Him.
"As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." Lk 10:38-42
Mary loved Jesus deeply and her primary aim in life was to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him. Everything else was in a very distant second place to Jesus. In return, Jesus loved being around Mary. When the time for Passover was near and He had only six days before going to the cross, where did Jesus go? He went to Mary’s house!
"Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." John 12:1 ff
Passion and love cuts both ways, like a two edged sword. Mary had great affection and love for Jesus and Jesus in return had great affection and love for Mary. When Mary’s brother Lazarus had died and had been dead for four days, Jesus came to their home. Martha went out to meet Jesus first and said, "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus’ response to Martha was a great teaching in the word of God - "I am the resurrection and the Life."
He also said to Martha: where’s my Mary who loves me so much? Martha went back and said to Mary: "The teacher is here and is asking for you." (Jn 11:28) Mary gets up immediately and goes out to meet Jesus. She says exactly the same thing as Martha - "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. However this time Jesus reacts in a completely different way. He weeps and walks to the tomb and raises Lazarus from the dead!
Jesus has many servants but few lovers. Servants like Martha can receive many wonderful blessings from Jesus. But passionate lovers like Mary can touch Jesus’ heart deeply and get Him to raise someone from the dead. People with Mary’s passion and love for the Lord can move Him in a way that other people can’t. The love that John and Mary had for Jesus touched Him deeply and released from Him deep treasures from His heart. Servants receive knowledge but passionate lovers of Jesus "experience the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Jesus which surpasses all knowledge." (Eph 3:18-19)