Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." — John 20:1-2, ESV
"The other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved..." When I first read this a long time ago, it always struck me as weird thing that John would refer to himself as "the one whom Jesus loved." To me it sounded a little bit arrogant—like a self-proclaiming of superiority or of being Jesus' favorite. However, when I read it now, I long to be just like him. Here's why: he got it. John understood that he was loved by Jesus. He was not saying that Jesus didn't love the other disciples. He wasn't even stating that he was Jesus' favorite. Rather, he had just come to the point of knowing and accepting the fact that he was loved by Jesus.
Do you struggle with this? Do you still live in the "try harder to be loved more" world of religion? For so long I lived my life and walked my walk with Christ in a way to prove to him that I was worthy of his love. I lived in such a way to show him that I could be loved by him. The truth of the matter was that during that time, I didn't truly believe that Jesus loved me based upon himself, but rather on my conduct of the day.
And then about 10 years ago Jesus ambushed me with his grace and revealed this truth to me: there is nothing I can do to make God love me any more; there's nothing that I can do make God love me any less. I am loved by Jesus. Freedom was introduced as grace broke the chains of religion and legalism. I cannot say that I don't still struggle with this truth, because I know how often I fail Jesus. However, during those times of doubt, it is necessary for me to go back to the truth of what Scripture says to me rather than the unreliability of my emotions.
Rest in the truth that you are the beloved of God. You are loved. Period. Enjoy that.