Have you ever wondered about John using the phrase “whom Jesus loved” in reference to himself? In a New Testament class I was in, the teacher would joke that John felt pretty highly of himself and didn’t hesitate to remind us. I would always laugh and I will admit to feeling a strong sense of inferiority when reading John’s writings for that very reason. I was burdened with the idea that John was elevating himself above the me on the totem pole of the Savior’s regard so I instinctively gathered up all my insecurities and withdrew, casting a wary eye at his words. The trouble is, there is no totem pole. It’s more like an ocean, vast and powerful and deep. There may be times when we are especially attuned to the natural ebb and flow of it but there is absolutely no distinction between the Savior’s love for me or you or John. The pull of it connects us to each other in sometimes humbling and magnificent displays. There’s the possibility that it might send us crashing around each other but the idea is that we all re-group and rejoin the tide. Sometimes it moves in mysterious ways and the sheer magnitude of it is profound. I think John knew all of this and I think he’s actually banking on us figuring out that the Savior loving him is the Savior loving us.
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