During the last month I have been watching the NBA playoffs on the TV. The team that I have been cheering for has been the San Antonio Spurs. David Robinson is my favorite player because he’s good and because he’s a committed follower of Jesus Christ. One of the things that I have noticed about the team is seemingly close they are to each other and how strong they are in regards to team spirit. When a player goes to the bench to rest or after he scores or after he goes to the free throw line he is generally received by his teammates in one of the following ways. A high five, a hug, a wap on the behind, a regular five, an arm around the shoulder. On the basketball court such behavior indicates the players friendships, camaraderie, and love for one another.
Outside of sports men do not typically show their affection or approval of one another in these ways ---I don’t want any of you wapping me on the behind after the service either.
In Jesus’ day men were more expressive of their love for their fellow men. It was culturally acceptable, just like it is other parts of our world today. Evidence to this is the posture we find the beloved disciple in, in ch. 13 of John. Today, my last sermon in our series called Great men and women of the Bible we are going to be considering the “Beloved Disciple”
TURN WITH ME TO CH. 13:1,20-28
Today we are going to consider a very important character from the book of John: The Beloved Disciple. He is the writer of this book that we call John.
A good question for us to ask is: Who wrote this book?
-not once does the author reveal his name
-purposefully remains anonymous
-purposefully and consistently identifies himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved
Now tradition has it that the gospels were entitled after their writers. Thus since from at least the late 1st century this book has been called “John’s gospel”. This is all well and fine and I have no problem with accepting that John the son of Zebedee (whom Jesus called one of the sons of Thunder) is the writer. However---- we need to ask the question as to why he only identifies himself in this book as the beloved disciple.
There is a reason as there always is for the Bible being written the way it has been. One of the questions we will address today is why he identifies himself as he does and not by his given name.
-washing of their feet, teaching them about servanthood, teaching them about how they and we to live in relation to each other. Demonstrating to them how much he loved them.
-announces that one will betray him
-Peter beckons to the disciple whom Jesus loved and says “ask Jesus as to which one of us who will do this”
-disciple whom Jesus loved leaned back against the bosom of Christ and asked Jesus as to who it was.
Peter as the rep. and leader of the 12, who obviously wasn’t sitting as close to Jesus as the beloved disciple tells him to ask Jesus and hence he does.
Q What does it mean for this disciple to lean upon the bosom of Jesus?
Bosom=chest, it’s the place where the heart is.
To lean against Jesus’ bosom indicates that the two of them were very good friends. It indicates trust and intimacy, confidence in one another, it indicates love between 2 people. In Kenya I remember seeing the
But its much more than that. This beloved disciple stands as a picture as one who is near to the heart of Jesus/ near to the heart of God. As one he is near the heart of Jesus he is one is valued, cherished and protected by Christ.
What’s really fascinating is that in John 1:18 it says “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him”.
Jesus is near to the heart of the Father because of their spiritual unity and oneness and hence love for one another. The beloved disciple is near to the heart of Jesus
One of the reasons I believe that the ‘beloved disciple’ is never named is that you and I might see ourselves in his place. That we might understand ourselves as disciples loved by Jesus and considered very special to him.
Sometimes you may doubt that Jesus loves you because of something you have done or because of his perceived absence in your life. Well, your doubts are unfounded because the Bible over and over again reiterates just how much we are loved of God.