One Whom Jesus Loved

This excerpt from Brennan Manning’s Abba’s Child is worth reading over and over and over until it gets inside us.  The context of this piece is Manning describing a retreat where he spent 5 days in John’s gospel and was struck by how the disciple came to know himself as the one whom Jesus loved.   Manning wonders what would happen if we became absorbed by that fact and allowed it to be our identity – one whom Jesus loved.   How would that change the way we approach Him, particularly when we fail?

Peter, the denier of Jesus, a failure as a friend in the hour of crisis, a coward in his soul before the servant-girl in the courtyard, jumped into the water almost naked once John told him Jesus was on shore.  “At these words ‘It is the Lord,’ Simon Peter, who had practically nothing on, wrapped his cloak round him and jumped into the water” (John 21:7).  John notes that the boat was about a hundred yards offshore.

These biblical characters, however clean or tawdry their personal histories may have been, are not paralyzed by the past in their present response to Jesus.  Tossing aside self-consciousness they ran, clung, jumped, and raced to Him.  Peter denied Him and deserted Him, but he was not afraid of Him.

Suppose for a moment that in a flash of insight you discovered that all your motives for ministry were essentially egocentric, or suppose that last night you got drunk and committed adultery, or suppose that you failed to respond to a cry for help and the person committed suicide.  What would you do?

Would guilt, self-condemnation, and self-hatred consume you, or would you jump into the water and swim a hundred yards at breakneck speed toward Jesus?  Haunted by feelings of unworthiness, would you allow the darkness to overcome you or would you let Jesus be who He is – a Savior of boundless compassion and infinite patience, a Lover who keeps no score of our wrongs?



4 thoughts on “One Whom Jesus Loved”

  1. This is good. Last Sunday we were asked what one fruit of the spirit does our spouse most exemplify and my husband said about me, “Faithfulness.” I listened intently as he explained as it wouldn’t be the fruit I would pick about myself or I’m sure others would pick. His words filled me deep gratitude: “My wife of 27 years has faithfully ran to Jesus in every test, trial and failure she’s found herself in.”
    For some merciful reason, I’ve been given the courage to believe that Jesus is for my good, even when I didn’t trust Him.
    To mourn with deep sorrow over my sin and the pain it’s caused others, without making excuses, could only happen in receiving the gift of grace and to see His discipline as a Father who loves us perfectly.

  2. It is becoming more clear to me that every sin committed is rooted in fear, which if truth be told, is nothing less than idolatry.
    But perfect love casts out fear. When we encounter that love we are overwhelmed with fear of Yehovah. That fear though, unlike our other fears, is not being afraid.
    It is nothing less than then real that sin will break His heart. Not because of some retribution but only because we have become so enamoured by His love for us we cannot imagine hurting Him.
    This is, often, how we begin to know His heart.
    His heart, even to those who sin and even to unbelievers, is Always about our restoration to the love ha’ Adam and the creator shared with one another in Eden.
    The sacrifice of Jesus was not so we could go to heaven but about bringing mankind into full partnership in ruling over all that God has created.
    His purposes, His ways and His thoughts are the reason we live and grow. We are the future kings and lords of the earth to whom Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords!

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