Who is your best friend? Who is the person who has stuck with you through the rough times and celebrated with you in the good times—the one person you trust more than anyone else?
Jesus and His disciple John had a loving relationship that was basically a best friendship. In fact, John is referred to on five occasions as “the one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20).
Arguably, no one knew Jesus as well as John did. Not only were they close friends, but John was also only one of three disciples whom Jesus chose to be a part of His inner circle. Peter, James, and John had unique access to Jesus when the others did not. Subsequently, they were present for the raising of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5, Luke 8), Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), and they saw Jesus sweating drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). These were moments in Jesus’ life and ministry when no one else was present as an eyewitness.
At the Last Supper, John sat at Jesus’ side and asked who the betrayer of our Lord would be (John 13:23–25). While hanging on the cross to atone for the sin of the world, Jesus looked down at His devastated mother, Mary, and asked John to care for her upon His death (John 19:26–27). That scene pretty much tells us everything we need to know about Jesus. The person who you assign to lovingly care for your mother as you are dying is the person you trust the most.
John was the first man to arrive at the empty tomb (John 20:1–10) and to recognize Jesus had risen from death (John 21:4–7). John was even gazing into heaven as his best friend, Jesus, ascended to His eternal throne (Acts 1:1–11).
What we learn from John is how to be a good friend to Jesus. The life of John should cause us to ask ourselves what kind of friend are we to Jesus? Can He depend on you to follow through with things He asks you to do? This year, what specific things can you do to improve your friendship with Jesus Christ (e.g., Bible reading, prayer, worship, church participation, following through on your commitments, etc.)?