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The one He loves
When you struggle with your relationship with God, you’re not alone. It does affect all your other relationships. Experiencing the love of God is vital to living fully in who you are and gives you the basis for engaging with others in relationship.
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
If one of His disciples, Thomas, who literally walked with Him, was still struggling to know Jesus, then we still need to pursue a deeper relationship with Him too! After all, He is still the way and the truth and the life! Later in the gospel of John, Jesus appears to his disciples. When he stands in front of Thomas, Jesus allows him to see Him and touch Him. Thomas's response? 'My Lord and my God!' (Jn.20:28) The face to face meeting, the intimacy of touching the Lord's wounds, the patience of Jesus to love Thomas until he understood, that is where we can be. It's not a judgment of our lack of faith. It is an acknowledgment of our need to grow into a vital relationship with Jesus that sustains our understanding of who he is and who we each are in Him.
Another perspective on these scriptures; They are from the gospel of John. John was the only disciple who self-identified as 'the disciple Jesus loved.' John did not describe any of his fellow disciples in this way. John knew the intimate relationship of his Lord and experienced it. Jesus profound love for John allowed John to proclaim that he was the one that Jesus loved. John reciprocated that love back to Jesus. What has been life-transforming for me is that I can say the same statement about myself- I am the one Jesus loves. Each one of us is personally loved by Him. For years I thought it was about me loving Jesus. When I failed to love Him, I believed I was separated from him. But God is love and love is God. (1 John) I had the relationship backward. Jesus loves me unconditionally- even when I don't sense or feel or think I'm worthy. His love never takes a break. My self-image that would fluctuate up and down throughout my life cannot dictate my relationship with my Savior! It never had, I just thought it did. I was never punished for how I lived my life by Jesus choosing to remove His love for me. He has always loved me. That brings me to my knees, just as Thomas was brought to his knees when he declared, 'my Lord and God!' I pray that you experience His love in this way too.
You are being equipped for the life God intended you to have. Be like Thomas and see Jesus face to face. Be like John and know that you are the one Jesus loves.
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