Today's verses are John 13:23,24: "One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking." My child, all twelve of my disciples were celebrating the last supper with me. Tomorrow I would face the cross and die for the forgiveness of the sins of all humanity. It was a sacred moment.
With my spirit deeply troubled, I'd just announced to all of them that one of them would betray me.
We were all eating in a circle, reclining around a table. The person to the right of another would have his head at the breast of the person to his left. It would be easy for there to be an intimate conversation between two people without the others hearing it.
After my announcement of my betrayal, Simon Peter motioned to the disciple to my right, the one whose head was right next to my breast, to ask who would betray me. This disciple, throughout the gospel of John, is called, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He surely was. Even seated next to me at the table, he possessed an honored place, reserved for my closest friend.
He was John, the disciple whom I dearly and deeply loved.
Some have debated if John is actually the disciple whom I dearly loved. But he is. It's consistently seen internally throughout the book he wrote about me. His constant association as "the son of Zebedee," with Simon Peter, is consistently pointed out in this gospel, as it is here at the table. There is also much external evidence that supports this position. Irenaeus, in his book Against Heresies, supports this identification.
My child, this causes me to ask you this question today: Would I call you a disciple I dearly love? Is your affection so great for me that I would give you this identification? That is my desire! I would love to call you this!
Also, have you ever wondered why my friend John simply referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and not give his actual name? It's because of his humility. He didn't want his name to be attached, in his gospel, with this identification. He thought it would seem prideful. He thought it would be mistaken by readers as self-aggrandizement.
He wanted all the attention in the gospel to be given to me. He wanted all the glory in his book to point to me. He didn't want to share any glory at all. He knew that only I am worthy of all praise, honor and glory.
I loved John's heart for me. I loved his unabashed love for me. I loved his humility toward me. I loved every part of who he was. He truly was the disciple whom I loved.
My child, does your life emulate John's? Do you love me like he does? Do you quest after humility? Do you desire that I alone receive all the glory in your life? Are you totally devoted to me, in every area of your life?
That's my desire. That's what I want from you. When you do, I promise to take care of you, all your days. I promise to provide for you, in all your ways.
Give me all you have.
Then you can trust me today.