One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Hosea 1-7.
“In that day you will call your brothers Ammi – ‘My people.’ And you will call your sisters Ruhamah – ‘The ones I love.’” ~Hosea 1:12
Today is the day; we are all his people, the ones he loves!
The Apostle John may have been the disciple who knew Jesus best, so it may appear that Jesus loved him more, but knowing Jesus and being the closet to him doesn’t increase his love any more than being farthest from him decreases his love. The infinite love of God doesn’t increase or decrease with our actions or proximity. If it did, we’d be able to control God with our actions, and God would cease to be “God.” No, his infinite love for us is not something to be gained or lost, it is a constant truth, and every time we try to “earn” God’s love, we reject that truth.
As a disciple who had been transformed by his time with Jesus, John knew this truth. John was one of three disciples who were present at the Transfiguration along with Peter and James. They were the same three who went further into the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. All the disciples scattered when Jesus was arrested, but John was the only one of the 12 at the foot of the cross, and as Jesus was dying, he entrusted his mother into John’s care.
The Apostle John often gets labeled as arrogant or egotistical for naming himself “the Disciple Jesus Loved” in his Gospel, but I believe this is an unfair accusation. John knew Jesus as the God of all creation who “loved the world,” and now through Jesus’ self-emptying love, all could see that the time Hosea wrote about had come. All can know the same truth John confidently proclaimed and allowed to transform his life, we are “the Beloved People of God!”
John certainly had a close intimate relationship with Jesus, but he was never claiming an exclusive right as the only one Jesus loved. Instead, as the disciple who spent the most time with Jesus humbly learning the ways of life as it was designed to be, I believe John understood his true identity, and the identity of all humanity as “His Beloved.” John wasn’t proclaiming his exclusive identity, he was proclaiming the true identity of all humanity for all time!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#Hosea1:12 #Hosea2:1 #1Corinthians15:22 #John3:16 #John21:7 #Mark9:2 #Mark14:33 #John19:26-27