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Summary: To aspire for the unique identity John (Son of Zebedee) had amongst the disciples "The Disciple whom JESUS LOVED".

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YOUR "ID" PLEASE...

It's quiz time folks. Not a tough (for regular Bible readers') question comes your way. Name the disciple whom Jesus loved. If your answer is John, Son of Zebedee, brother of James, pat yourself on the back. Light-hearted introduction apart, if we look at the implications of the John's unique ID "Disciple, Jesus loved", there are some serious lessons to be gleaned. Of course, Jesus loved other disciples too, but if Scripture says that the Sovereign Lord loved John more, it is in perfect consonance with the teaching in other parts of the Scripture such as Exodus 33:19 and Romans 9:15.

Hey, some weighty privileges are bound to come visiting if you are loved by Jesus...John's life and Ministry is a classic case in point.

REFORMATION...

Mind you, originally John and James (both brothers) were named by Jesus himself considering their hot temper as "Sons' of Thunder". One needn't go beyond their fiery reaction to Samaritans inhospitality (Luke 9:51-54) to substantiate the truth about their short fuse. While James was martyred early in his ministry, John actually outlived other apostles mellowing all along with age. The Master sculptor (II Cor 3:18) had fashioned John into a Masterpiece-fleshing out Jesus' love-by the time his earthly sojourn ended.

There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples. At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, "Little children, love one another!" After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, "Master, why do you always say this?" "It is the Lord's command," was his reply (John 13:34-35). "And if this alone be done, it is enough!" Difficult to believe isn't it, that this once easily excitable "Son of thunder" --all fire and brimstone in his younger years-could now be so warm-hearted personifying the Lord's command? It was effect of love (another name for Jesus- 1 John 4:8) that John was eating, drinking, and breathing the topic of love not only in his preaching but also in his writing. His three epistles written presumably in his old age exude love. How true, we love because Jesus first loves us (I John 4:19)...His love in our hearts (Romans 5:5) translates into reverence for God and compassion for fellow beings.

Say Reader, have you trusted Jesus to reform you? All of us by birth are sinners selfish to the core. All of us need a "born-again experience" which only faith in Jesus can bring about (John 1:12/Gal 3:26) liberating us from our selfishness. It is not your fault that you are born a sinner but it would be your fault if you die as one, without "allowing" Jesus to bring about a reformation in your life by His mighty power.

RESPONSIBILITY...

What is the proof that you have reciprocated to the person who has loved you with agape love? Answer: You are bound to remain with him in his moment of crisis. Is it any wonder then, John alone of all the disciples' was beside Jesus at the Cross, when the Saviour was spending his last hours in excruciating agony? To whom should Jesus the eldest son of Mary, entrust the responsibility of taking care of his mother's welfare other than to the Disciple whom he loved (John 19:26-27). Say Brother, is Jesus entrusting you with more responsibilities in your ministry for His glory? Rejoice for it is a vindication of his love (basis for trust) for you. Didn't somebody say love and trust are bedfellows!!!

REDEMPTION...

As John alone of all the disciples was beside the Redeemer in his last hours, he alone had the privilege of seeing the Divine redemption work completed (Jesus' atoning sacrifice for sinful mankind). Is it not only in John's Gospel, we see triumphant cry of Jesus on the Cross (the Sixth utterance) recorded "IT IS FINISHED" (John 19:30).

In essence, the difference between Saving Christian faith and others is this..."While others' call for several good works to obtain salvation, Christianity calls simply for acceptance in faith of the WORK ALREADY FINISHED (Romans 10:9-10).

RESURRECTION...

Lo and behold, after being the first hand witness of the completion of the Redemption work who other than John should have the privilege of being the first witness amongst the disciples' to the resurrection of his beloved Master.

"So Peter and the other disciple (John) started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed." --John 20:3-8

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