JOHN 13:23-25 “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. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” (NKJV)
JOHN 19:25-27 “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (NKJV)
While Simon Peter is an example of one who boasts in his love for God, John is an example of one who boasts in God’s love for himself. He claimed himself to be the disciple whom Jesus loved. While Jesus rebuked Peter for his claims on what he would do for Jesus there is not a single scripture in the Bible which shows Jesus rebuking John for claiming to be loved by Jesus. God doesn’t want us to boast on our love for Him but rather He wants us to boast about His love for us. Few characteristics of one who boasts on God’s love for oneself are –
- Rests in the Lord – Even while there was a lot of confusion and commotion regarding who would betray Jesus we can see John calm in the midst of it and resting on Jesus’ bosom. Those who boast on God’s love will find rest in the Lord even in the midst of the storm. They will be absolutely sure that since God loves them they have nothing to worry even though the circumstances may seem bleak.
- A sense of proximity to Jesus – Apostle John was sitting next to Jesus and resting on His bosom, he was much closer to Jesus than all the others around Him. In fact, John could ask Jesus about who would betray Him while Peter who boasted in his love for Jesus couldn’t muster the courage to do so and had to request John to ask Jesus about the betrayer. When we boast in God’s love for us it will lead to a sense of proximity to God which in turn will give rise to confidence for us to walk into His presence and ask Him anything without fear, doubt or second thought
- Boasting in God’s love will keep us in the presence of God no matter what the situation is – While Jesus lay hanging on the cross there was none of the disciples but John standing at the feet of the cross. When we realise how much God loves us and boast in His love that will cause us to stand firm even in the toughest of situations even when all others may fall.
- Boasting in God’s love will lead to God entrusting us a great task – While John was at the feet of the cross and just before Jesus gave up His Spirit He entrusted the care of His mother to John. Taking care of His mother was Jesus’ task as a son, but Jesus was sure that John is capable of fulfilling that task. Boasting in God’s love will enable us to do great deeds, deeds which nobody else can accomplish.
Boasting in our love for God will get us nowhere. But, when we understand and realise how much God loves us and boast in His love for us that is when we can achieve great things.