Who was the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved?

Of all of the four Gospels, the book of John is the only book that talks about a mysterious disciple whom Jesus loves. Some believe that this person was one of the greatest disciples since he got such a name. They have this belief that because he has this title, that Jesus favored him more than the others. Mostly every other person in the Bible is described simply by their first or last name. When it talks about this person, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” it shows a particular emphasis compared to the other disciples (John 13:23)[1]. So who is this mysterious disciple?

When we connect the dots with the other Gospels we can understand that this person is John himself. In the gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, they referred to John by his name, but when we get to John’s own gospel we can see that his name is changed from John to, “the disciple whom Jesus loves.” Now it was not that God loved John more than the others it is that John knew Jesus loved him. He personalized the love of God. John wrote down that God loved him personally. Imagine I am writing a journal about my day. As I write and recall what happened. I write and say, “Brother Nick, Brother Joseph, and the Brother whom Jesus loves went and ate Chipotle.” I am emphasizing the love of God in my life. I am reminding myself that God loves me.

There are five times that this phrase is written in this gospel, and each of these five times, John is focusing on God’s love for him. The word Hebrew word for John is Johanan which mean, “Jehovah is gracious.” This truly is a book of grace. As you go throughout your day, meditate on how much God loves you. The translation Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) says, “This was the one Jesus loved very much” (John 13:23). God wants you to know today that He loves you, very much.

[1] Unless otherwise noted that all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Version

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