Why Is John Called “The Beloved Disciple”?

Lessons From John’s Life



Being loved is the most powerful motivation in the world! Our ability to love is often shaped by our experience of love. We usually love others as we have been loved. John, Jesus’ disciple, expressed his relationship to the Son of God by calling himself “the disciple Jesus loved” (John 21:20). Because his own experience of Jesus’ love was so strong and personal, John was sensitive to those words and actions of Jesus that illustrated how the one who is love loved others.


Jesus knew John fully and loved him fully. He gave John and his brother James the nickname “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17), perhaps from an occasion when the brothers asked Jesus for permission to “call down fire from heaven” on a village that had refused to welcome Jesus and the disciples (Luke 9:54). In John’s Gospel and letters, we see the great God of love, while the thunder of God’s justice bursts from the pages of Revelation.


Jesus confronts each of us as he confronted John. We cannot know the depth of Jesus’ love unless we are willing to face the fact that he knows this completely. Otherwise we are fooled into believing he must love the people we pretend to be, not the sinners we actually are. John and all the disciples convince us that God is able and willing to except us as we are. Being aware of God’s love is a great motivator for change. His love is not given in exchange for our efforts; his love frees us to really live.


Have you accepted that love?


Lessons From John’s Life


  • Those who realize how much they are loved are able to love much.
  • When God changes a life, he does not take away personality characteristics, but puts them to effective use in his service.


Key Verses

Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before.  Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.


1 John 2:7-8 (NLT)



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