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JOHN 13:23




Sunday Morning Sermon

July 19, 1998

Fair Avenue Baptist Church




Open your Bibles to the book of JOHN and we will turn to several passages this morning.


JOHN 13:23

JOHN 19:26

JOHN 20:2

JOHN 21:7


Did you hear something alike in each verse?  Sure you did, every passage that I read includes this phrase:


"..the disciple whom Jesus loved."


All through the book of JOHN there is a title given to John by himself.  When he speaks of himself, he speaks of himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."


Matthew called him "John"

Mark called him "John"

Luke called him "John"


Yet John speaks of himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  He could have called himself:


the disciple who wrote this book - because he did,


the disciple who knew Him best - and John did know Jesus better than all the rest,


the disciple who saw visions of prophecy - remember this is the John who wrote the book of Revelation,


the disciple who loved Jesus best - because there is no doubt in my mind that John loved Jesus more than any other person on the fact of the earth,


the disciple who leaned on Jesus' bosom - and by the way, in the early writings of the church and in early secular writings that statement was made about John more than any other statement,


I'm one of the inner three - Peter, James, and John,


I'm the one who has done great works for God



No, he did not use any of those titles.  He hides himself behind the cloud of "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  He hides himself behind that title.


NOW, how can a person be the one that Jesus loves?


How can a person be "that special one?"


How can one be the object of Jesus love?


Take your Bibles again and let's turn back to JOHN 13:23-25 and let's read together.


Notice the scene and listen carefully.  Our Lord is in the Upper Room.  Around Him are his disciples.




He is going to go before the high priest,


He is going to stand before Pilate,


He is going to be scourged with a cat-o-nine-tails,


He is going to be laid on the cross,


He is going to cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?


Tomorrow is the awful suffering of Calvary,



So Jesus gets John, the one whom He loved, and the other disciples and we read what Jesus said in JOHN 14:1-3.


Suppose that you knew you were going to die tomorrow.


Tonight you would get all your family and loved ones together and you would talk to them about your departure.


Our Lord knows that in a few hours He is going to die on the cross,


The Father is going to turn His back on Him,


He is going to become sin,


So here in JOHN 13:23 it says that John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved," was there leaning on the bosom of Jesus



Here we are on July 19, 1998, why don't we decide to live close to Jesus this year?


If I want to be one whom Jesus loves, I must lean on Him.


And if I am close to Jesus, even though I don't know what the future holds, I know everything will be all right.


Between now and next year, we will see some dark hours in our church:


loved ones may be buried,


God may take some of the best people we have,


someone may find out they have cancer,


a baby may be born dead,


But bless God, if we are close to our Heavenly Father's breast, it will be all right!





How can you be the one whom Jesus loves?


Now turn to JOHN 19:26


Where is Jesus at this time?  He is on the cross.  Our Lord says He saw the one standing by whom He loved.



Our Lord is being crucified,


He is now nailed to the cross,


Judas has sold him for thirty pieces of silver,


Peter has denied Him,


The disciples have forsaken Him and fled,


BUT, the disciple whom Jesus loved is standing by the cross.



Judas may be gone,


Peter may be gone,


The disciples may be gone,


BUT John takes his stand beside the cross of Christ.



Do you want to be a disciple whom Jesus loves?  Then stay close to Him and always stand by Him and never leave.




John, Jesus is not very popular now,

I know, but I'm going to take my stand,


John, they may kill you,

I'm going to take my stand,


How do you become the one that Jesus loves?  Live close to Him and take a stand for Him.



Visualize in your mind this scene:


Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, John, and it was easy to stand for Jesus.  Jesus was riding on a young colt into Jerusalem.


He was a hero.  A parade was given in His honor.  They put palm branches in front of Him.


It was easy for John to stand for Jesus when He is the leader of a great parade.


It was easy for John to stand for Jesus when He is popular.


It is easy for John to stand for Jesus on Easter Sunday when He has risen from the dead.




John didn't stand for Jesus just on Palm Sunday.....John stood for Jesus when He wasn't popular.


Listen, it isn't enough for us to stand for Jesus one day a year,


It isn't enough for us to stand for Jesus on Sunday only,


We need to stand for Him at work,


at school,

at home,

with our family,


Do you want to be the one Jesus loves?


Then stand for Him...stand for Him when He's unpopular...stand for Him when He is on the cross.


Ladies and gentlemen, it is getting increasingly unpopular to stand up for Jesus.


My main desire as pastor here is to get our people to stand up for Christ and be a witness.


I wish we had such devotion to Him,


such love for Him,

such faithfulness to Him,

such surrender to Him,


that if the enemy came into this church this morning and said, "Deny Jesus or die!"


We would join hands and sing, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me"


We would say, "Go ahead!  We will not deny Christ.  We would rather die than to turn our back on our blessed Saviour"


John said, "I leaned on His bosom," but more than that, the disciple whom Jesus loved was standing beside Him when He died.


How can you be a disciple whom Jesus loves?


Lean on Him - live close to Him


How can you be a disciple whom Jesus loves?


Stand by Him - stand up for Him







Let's slow down a moment, and visualize in our minds a tomb, the tomb where Jesus was buried.  Let's zero in that Easter Sunday morning, early when the dew is still thick.


Fresh in the minds of a handful of precious people is last Wednesday afternoon when Jesus was crucified. 


Mary Magdalene, who loved Him so much, came in the early morning to the sepulchre.


It was only a short time ago that they had wrapped the body of Jesus and placed it in the sepulchre.  Mary came to be as close to Him as she could.  She loved Him so much.


So here comes Mary, but she is startled.  Jesus is gone!  The stone is rolled back!  She runs inside the sepulchre.  There are the clothes and the napkin all folded.  The Lord is gone!

Mary Magdalene says, "They have taken away my Lord!"


She runs to find Peter and John and says, "They have taken away my Lord!"  Peter and John begin to run as fast as they can.  The Bible tells us Peter was there too, but John was the first one to believe that Jesus had risen from the grave.


And that's why we are here this morning, we are here to say,


"Hallelujah, He's alive!  He's alive!"


And next Sunday morning, many of us, thank God, will be here to say the same thing, "Thank God, He is alive"


And then the next Sunday morning, we'll say again, "Thank God, He is alive!  He is alive!"



How do you become a disciple whom Jesus loves?  Lean on Him and live close to Him,


How do you become a disciple whom Jesus loves?  Stand for Him when nobody else will,


How do you become a disciple whom Jesus loves?  Praise God that He lives,



We move along in the life of John.  John lived about sixty years after this time and I'm sure that many times old John would just sit back and say, "I got to lean on His breast.  I got to love Him.  I am the disciple whom Jesus loved."


John later stood for Jesus so much that he was exiled to Patmos.  Eventually John died for Jesus.  Legend has it that the tombstone of John said, "The disciple whom Jesus loved."


I have a strong suspicion that right now in Heaven that John is right next to Jesus.



Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid that too many of us play religion,


Far too many of us are just good church-goers and decent people on Sunday.


We need to fall in love with Jesus.


What are you going to do this year?  Are you going to go home this afternoon and say, "Well, that's it for this week"?


Some of you folks, bless your hearts, are nice people.  You are good husbands, good wives, and good citizens, but you have not found happiness.


You have joined that never-ending search for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


Listen, I mean it when I say that you will find everything you are looking for when you give everything you have to Jesus Christ.


There are many people here this morning who been where you are, who have found happiness in leaning on Jesus' breast,

standing for Jesus and thanking God that Jesus lives.


Those students in Bible college have found true happiness because they are standing for Jesus and thank God that Jesus lives.


Some of these teenagers have found happiness because they are standing for Jesus.


What do you want to be this morning?



"The disciple that Jesus loved" - I want to be that disciple, don’t you?




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