There are a few verses in Scripture that have caused me to ponder and think over the years for different reasons depending on the verse, and there is one about the disciple John that really made me sit back and think. During Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, the Bible mentions that John is the disciple whom Jesus loved, which made me do a double take when I first read it.
When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
John 13:21-24 (NKJV)
The Bible says that Jesus loved all of His disciples, and that God is love, so I wondered why it had to make that statement? Shouldn’t the love Jesus gives be the same to everyone? It took me awhile, but I began to learn about how our relationships in life can have different dynamics to them.
When you read the Gospels, you see that Jesus interacted with each of the twelve disciples in a unique way. For example, Peter was the only one Jesus told that Satan desired to sift him like wheat, meaning he wanted to shake his faith. Yet Jesus said He prayed for him. Not to mention Peter was the only one He called out to walk on water. Out of all the disciples, only Peter, James, and John saw His transfiguration.
Even in my life, the way my twin brother and younger brother connect with my dad is different than how he and I connect. They have a unique bond when it comes to music, which I don’t have, yet he loves all of us the same. If you take the time to examine the relationships in your life, I’m positive you can tell the difference in how you relate to each other in your family, as well as how you interact with your friends.
The relationship Jesus had with John was so unique, that He entrusted him with His mother as He was crucified on the cross! The different levels of interaction could seem like favoritism or partiality depending on the lens we see through. Yet, God is impartial in how He deals with us, so I believe this should challenge us and our way of building relationships.
To have different ways of interacting in our relationships demonstrates our ability to view people as individuals. Jesus was able to deal with the disciples in unique ways because He knew their tendencies, their disposition, as well as their level of growth in the relationship.
May we follow Him in the way we relate to one another and appreciate how dynamic our lives really are. You’ll be surprised at how much your relationships in life improve once you value the unique ways in which they are expressed!