‘The one whom Jesus loves’



Light for the Way devotional seriesIn the Gospel of John, the central figure of course is Jesus of Nazareth. The central theme is this: “Who is Jesus?” Once that is laid out within its pages, the author repeatedly shows us characters who are challenged: “What are you going to do with this information?”

Alongside this, John refers to himself on two separate occasions as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Implicitly, he is giving us an inside view into the central basis of his identity. He is the one whom Jesus loved. Instead of this being an exclusive club, I believe John wants each of us to see ourselves that way as well, and to realize the depth of Christ’s love for us.

When my children go off to the bus in the morning, many times my spouse will remind them, “Remember, you are the one whom Jesus loves.” Usually it falls on deaf ears or is accompanied by an eye roll, but it is a way for us to remind them they are loved.

In John 17, Jesus prays to his Father in heaven for his disciples, and for those who believe in him through their message. This should not go unnoticed – Jesus prayed for his disciples, and by extension, you and me. Between verses 11 and 15, Jesus prays for them to be protected by the power of God’s name, that they may have “the full measure of joy within them,” and again that God would protect them from the evil one.

Jesus wraps the joy that comes from God within the protection of God.

Later, in verse 20, Jesus again prays that they (the disciples) may be one, as we are one. Too often in my journey of faith, I have thought that this unity or harmony could be created (by me) through community. In the end, I tend to agree with theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who wrote in his book “Life Together”:

It is not the experience of Christian brotherhood (unity/harmony), but solid and certain faith in brotherhood that holds us together. … For Jesus Christ alone is our unity. ‘He is our peace.’ Through him alone do we have access to one another, joy in one another, and fellowship with one another.”

We cannot manufacture unity, but as a Christian ministry, we can align our goals for a common mission that promotes a unity of purpose.

Let us be reminded today that the work we do has meaning and value. As we “work unto the Lord,” we can work in harmony with one another to serve residents, families and staff with loving care.

Remember, they are the ones whom Jesus loved, as are you!

image of Campus Pastor Erik AndersonAbout Campus Pastor Erik Anderson: I joined Presbyterian Homes in 2019. Prior to my career change to pastoral care, I worked in the mortgage/banking industry for 15 years. I currently live in Coon Rapids with my family of five. When I’m not keeping busy at Boutwells Landing, you can find me tending a campfire or playing in a big band.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.



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