Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. (John 21:20-24 )
How John could know that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved? And what does that mean exactly?
In John 15: 9, Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” (John 15:9)
And in John 13:34, He says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. “
Jesus’ love is the perfect love. It is the love to imitate. There is nothing greater, there is nothing deeper, there is nothing bigger. So what was special in the way He loved John? Was Jesus showing partiality?
Maybe it was not that Jesus loved John in a special way. Maybe it was that John knew in a special way that he was loved that deep and that much. Maybe John understood so much Jesus’s love that he remained in that love. Maybe it was all about John’s faith and surrender to that amazing love. Maybe it just depends on us to be the disciple whom Jesus loves.