SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
ARE YOU GOD’S FAVORITE?
(John 13:23) Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
The mystery of the universe is that God loves us through Christ and even sent His Son to die for our sins (Eph 3:17-19). A further baffling thought is that He continues to love us when we falter and fail. This is what you call God’s grace. You can’t earn it and it keeps on operating in our lives. But do some have a closer tie to God’s heart than others? Like a favored child in a family does the Lord endear Himself to one over another perhaps because he/she is more compliant or has certain qualities that make God smile more than others?
Joseph wore a coat of many colors given to him by his father Jacob and it made his brothers jealous. Joseph was the firstborn son of the love of his life Rachel. The other brothers were from other women. Rachel had passed away so every time he looked in the eyes of Joseph he saw Rachel’s eyes. He couldn’t help it and he made this fancy robe that made Joseph feel special and one of a kind. He wore it like a proud peacock and his brothers were provoked to wrath by this favoritism. (Gen 37; Eph 6:4)
The apostle John mentioned four times that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20). When I first read this I thought that John had a special relationship with Jesus that the other disciples did not. I envied John and began to look into the reasons for him feeling like he was the Lord’s favorite. You toss around ideas in your head like maybe he was a little proud or cocky or self-deceived to think like that. But then I threw that line of thinking out because John’s book is inspired of God.
Okay, so how else am I to think? Maybe he really was special and just had that inroad into the Lord’s heart. Not like Peter who always put his foot in his mouth and vacillated in his faith. But then I looked up verses about John and saw he wasn’t perfect after all. He had his faults and needed to be corrected (Luke 9:51-56; Mark 9:33-37). So the mystery continued for quite some time until the light dawned through my own experience of God’ grace working in my life. Then I heard my wife Cheryl say she felt like she was God’s favorite! I was taken aback by her intimate referral to God with such a statement. It reminded me of John saying he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. Then the Spirit made it real to me. All of us are God’s favorites because of His amazing grace!
What a revelation that day! Now I can truly say that I too am God’s favorite. I am also the disciple whom Jesus loved. God shows personal favoritism to no one. He loves us all the same in Christ! We all wear the special robe of righteousness (Isa 61:10; 2 Cor 5:21). John knew he was just as fallen as Peter but he also accepted the grace of our Lord which made him feel close to the Lord’s heart. I wonder if you know you are God’s favorite too?