Have you heard of the disciple whom Jesus loved? There is one who is referred to 5 times in scripture as THE person Jesus loved. Who was he and why was he the one identified as loved?
John 13:23 “One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side.”
John 19: 26 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby …”
John 20:2 “she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved …”
John 21:7 “Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!”
John 21:20 “Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved …”
Okay, so who is this loved disciple and how does everyone know HE is the one loved by Jesus? Interestingly enough, all of these accounts come from the same book in the bible, John. Who wrote the book of John? Of course, the disciple John. And which disciple is not called by name in this book? John himself. The disciple who Jesus loved was John. He was writing about himself!
At first glance, it would seem arrogant of John to label himself as the one loved by Jesus. Does he consider himself better than the other 11 disciples? Why has he elevated himself to this higher position in his writings?
But dig a little deeper and you will find it was not arrogance that caused him to write these things, it was humility. He found his complete identity in one thing, the love of Jesus. His name was no longer important. He did not refer to himself in first person. He saw himself for exactly who he was, and that was the one loved by Jesus. It wasn’t about anyone else. It wasn’t even about himself. It was about the love of Jesus.
Imagine if you and I were to see ourselves through Jesus instead of through our track record. Imagine if our identity was found solely in who God says we are instead of who others say we are. How different would we be if we became the one Jesus loved? How different would would we act if we considered ourselves to be the one who is chosen. The one who is set apart. The one who is empowered. The one who is anointed.
Would it be arrogant? Or would it actually be humble to drop all these other labels and attachments and fully accept who God says we are? Isn’t that what God is calling us to do? Isn’t he moving you to believe who he says you are and start acting accordingly?
John referred to himself as the disciple loved by Jesus, and it caused him to do things the other disciples wouldn’t do. John 13:23 gives an account of John being the one seated right next to Jesus as the Last Supper. Some translations go even further to say “One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder.”
Do you have a friend that close to you? A friend that not only can sit next to you, but put their head on your shoulder? And you know you could do the same with this friend. You could snuggle in close and lay your head right on their shoulder. You feel that comfortable; that close. Wow, that’s a relationship. I have a few of those and they are treasured.
This is how comfortable John felt with Jesus. What created this comfort and closeness? The way he saw himself through Jesus. He saw himself in his love, therefore it caused him to do things in his love.
If you began seeing yourself as the girl who Jesus loves, you would start doing some things differently. You wouldn’t hold back. You wouldn’t dismiss yourself. You wouldn’t assume you’re not good enough. You would boldly show up and step up. Why? Because you see yourself as loved, and that love emboldens you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do.
Now is the time to choose … how will you see yourself through the eyes of Jesus and your Creator?
Will you be the chosen one?
Will you be the redeemed one?
Will you be the strengthened one?
Will you be the empowered one?
Will you be the one used by God as a vessel for his power?
Will you be the one supernaturally guided by the Almighty to be at the right place at the right time for divine purposes?
Will you be the one who is set apart, and here for a time such as this?
Every single one of these things are true of you. It’s simply a matter of you accepting these truths as your truth and allowing them to become your identity.
Just because John decided he was loved by Jesus, didn’t diminish Jesus’ love for anyone else, and Sis, just because you decide from this day forward you are chosen by God, doesn’t mean a single one of us aren’t also chosen. This isn’t about anyone being below you or lesser than you, this is about you being exactly who God says you are, and taking that on as your identity. When you do that, you show others they can do the same!
Once I started seeing myself as the anointed one, I began feeling like the anointed one. Then, I started acting like the anointed one. I know God’s power flows through me. I know I am a vessel for the Almighty. Not because I’m better than any other living soul out there, simply because I have accepted this as my truth and it is now my identity. So, I do what anointed people do, I allow the anointing to flow through me.
John was loved. He did what loved people do. He stayed close to Jesus. He followed him everywhere he went and trusted him completely. He devoted his entire life to the love that saved his. This was never about making anyone else see him as loved, it was always a personal statement of his true identity in Christ.
John, the beloved.
Who are you?
Are you the one who is God’s masterpiece, created to do good things? (Ephesians 2:10)
Are you the chosen one called into His light? (1 Peter 2:9)
Are you the one set apart as God’s temple where the Holy Spirit dwells? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Are you the one who is more than a conqueror? (Romans 8:37)
Are you a light for God? (Matthew 5:14)
Are you the one with a ridiculously good future? (Jeremiah 29:11)
Are you the predestined one? (Ephesians 1:5)
Are you the friend of Jesus? (John 15:5)
Are you the strengthened and empowered one? (Philippians 4:13)
Are you the fully redeemed one? (Ephesians 1:7)
Which one speaks to you? Which one stares down your fears with the truth of God and conquerors them? Which one would change the way you show up for life today? Claim it as yours. YOU ARE THE ONE! This is exactly who you are. It is for you.
Not sure which one? Well, they’re all yours. Try one on for size today, then try another one tomorrow. Different seasons in life may require a different word.
In 2013, my game changer was recognizing I am the LOVED one. Accepting that, and seeing myself as fully LOVED by the Almighty empowered me to take bold steps toward the future he had planned for me. I wore a necklace for 3 years straight that said “Loved.” Everytime I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of my identity in Christ. It changed how I showed up.
Now, every morning as I drop to my knees and make myself available to hear from God in these messages I share with you, I understand I am the anointed one. The more I believe it, the more I see proof of it, and the more I’m able to walk in it.
Only John referred to himself as the one whom Jesus loved. He didn’t need anyone else to recognize him as such. This wasn’t a status thing, this was an identity thing. He saw Jesus for his love, and he saw himself as the recipient of that love … and that changed everything.
Who do you see Jesus as? How do you see your Creator? Who is he to you and how does that change your place in this world?
Set apart, yes.
All of this and more. Receive it. Accept it. Know it. Live by it.