This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who
wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
The gospel of John refers six times to a disciple whom Jesus loved. Many believe that this disciple is the author of the gospel, ‘John’ himself. The gospel is the account of this disciple’s journey with Jesus, his understanding of Jesus’s teachings and the part he had in the story.
The author also denies himself an identity, mentioning himself only as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He sits with Jesus at the last supper, asks who will betray him, and witnesses the crucifixion. On the cross, Jesus names him as Mary’s son, to take care of her in his place.
We can learn much from ‘the beloved disciple’ about living a Christian life, following Christ through all that goes on, good and bad; to serve God and others, without taking glory for ourselves; to help without worrying about whether people know it was us.
At the end of John’s gospel, after the resurrection, Peter asks what will become of the beloved disciple, and Jesus replies: ‘What is that to do with you? You follow me.’ This is a reminder that any reward we receive is from God, not others, but also that we shouldn’t worry about any recognition that others may receive that we don’t.
The challenge for this week in Lent is to help others without seeking recognition or reward, to try hard not to want credit for what we have done for God, church or others.
God of the beloved disciple,
thank you for loving us and being with us
through the good and bad.
Give us the strength to serve without seeking reward,
to love others without seeking glory,
to be true disciples of you.