John, who needed love the most

gospel of john

So I was talking to a friend today, a seminarian who I have no doubt will be a force for good in the world based on his love for Christ, his compassion toward people, and his understanding of the Scriptures.  It is this latter that we touched on today in conversation.  He has learned to read the Gospels in the original Hebrew and Greek, which absolutely staggers me.  He said some of the translations of Scripture  into other languages have not adequately conveyed what the author was trying to get at in the text.

For example, John, “the other disciple, the one Jesus loved” (John 20 v2).

“I originally took that as a very arrogant phrase,” my friend said, “Like, ‘Look at me, the favorite disciple.’  And then I read the Greek.  The actually Greek translation was less a statement of favoritism than one of need.  It’s more accurate to read it “the one who Jesus had to keep on loving because he needed to be close.”

Which means what?  I asked.

“John was probably the most broken.  He needed to lean on Jesus the most.  And Jesus knew that, and so did John.”


Oh, John, let me tell you: you have a brother in this warped yellow lego.  I’m right there with you.

Another friend once told me, “I envy your religious life, man [whatever that means].  I just don’t have that much faith.  Don’t know how you do it.”

How I do it?

I don’t know how it’s done.  I just know the reach.  I know the outstretched arm.  I know the lump-in-the-throat, I’m-ready-to-lose-it, help-me-please straining.

And I’ve felt another hand close around mine and pull me forward, out of impossible despair, anxiety, and stress.

Every morning.  Every hour.  Every moment.

He sends reminders to me.  Around every corner, in the light of every person’s eyes.

In His Word.  In the teachings of his followers.

In the cross I wear around my neck.

In my very need to reach.

Because I have a tendency to forget.

Every morning.  Every hour.  Every moment.

My face is cupped in His wonderful, assuring hands.  He looks on me with the deepest love.  He pulls me close.

He knows He needs to.

And so do I.