This morning, my foster daughter had an experience that caused obvious grief and stress.  She’s too young to put it into words, but there’s no doubt she knew enough to be bothered.  When it was all over, she was sitting on the stairs taking off her shoes and she looked at me and with a confirming question tone said, “You love me Daddy?”  She knew it, but needed a reminder, especially after something weighed so heavily on her heart.  It’s one thing to know that someone loves you, but it’s another thing altogether to hear it from them.  Sometimes we need to be reminded.

It’s fitting that the last blog of the last chapter in the last book of the Gospels should end with a simple message that Jesus loves us.  Just like my daughter, we often need that reminder.  The Gospel of John is the only gospel that uses the phrase ‘the one whom Jesus loved’.  In fact, John uses this phrase five times referring to himself.  Now there’s been a long list of jokes about this line of writing, the vanity and pride included in such a statement.  However I believe the real reason that John repeatedly referred to himself as ‘the one whom Jesus loved’ so many times was because he was reminding himself of that fact.  It’s like a ‘WOW, can you believe that Jesus actually loves ME?’  It’s not a pride thing, it’s pure awe.

As kids we begin with this simple fact.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but he is strong
Yes Jesus loves me
Oh, yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so
In this final chapter of the Gospels, Jesus appears to His disciples as they are fishing.  He basically repeats His first actions when calling His disciples.  It was that familiar message from three years prior that clued John into who was talking to them.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” – John 21:4-7a
Three of the five times that John uses this phrase, appear after the resurrection.  John was not being vain or proud, he was in need of the reminder.  He couldn’t fathom the fact that Jesus loved him in such a profound way.  He intellectually knew it, but needed to remind his heart over and over.
We are no different than John.  We need those reminders.  When we fail, when we make mistakes, when we fall short of our own expectations (much less those of God), we can struggle to believe that the Holy One still loves us, as broken as we are.
So how do we get that confirmation?  We can verbally repeat it like John did.  But perhaps the best way is to simply spend time in His Word.  Reading His Word is like reading the love letter He left behind for you.  It constantly reminds me of the depth of His love for me.

I pray that you appreciate my blogs.  They are my way of journaling as I read His word.  If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button left of this post AND to spread the word.  Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.

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