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“Beloved”

written by Asher Intrater
April 28, 2012

John the apostle had a profound revelation of the love of God, and is referred to as “John the Beloved.” In fact, that nickname came from his own writings. His identity was so changed by the love of God that he had the audacity to refer to himself five times as the “beloved one” while writing the Bible!

  1. During the Last Supper when Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of the coming betrayal. John 13:23 – “whom Yeshua loved.”
  2. At the cross when Yeshua gave him responsibility to take care of His mother. John 19:26 – “whom He loved.”
  3. At the morning of the resurrection when John and Peter ran to the empty tomb. John 20:2 – “whom Yeshua loved.”
  4. After the resurrection as Yeshua appeared to the disciples fishing at Galilee. John 21:7 – “whom Yeshua loved.”
  5. During Yeshua’s last instructions to John and Peter. John 21:20 – “whom Yeshua loved.”

John was the first to understand that God loves the world (John 3:16); – that is, the people in the world. If God loves all the people in the world, that includes John, me, and you. (Once we understand the love of God, we are separated in our hearts from the world system and become part of God’s team to express His love to the rest of the world.) If God loves the whole world, how much more so does He love those who have received the Son in that world.

The concept of the love of God progresses through the Bible. In the Law, we are commanded to love God (Deuteronomy 6:5). In the Gospels, we understand how much God loves us. Then we realize that God’s love for us preceded our love for Him (I John 4:10). If God loves us, then we ought to stop hating ourselves. Self-destructive habits are not of God but of the devil (Mark 5:5).

If God loves us, then we can love ourselves. If we love ourselves, then we can love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). If we don’t know God’s love, then we can love neither ourselves nor our neighbor. God’s love frees us from self-destructive tendencies and enables us to love others. Remind yourself out loud repeatedly everyday: “God loves me; God loves me…”

Our transition in understanding God’s love includes the effect that love has on our own identity. It changes our self-image. What He does changes who I am. If God loves me, then “I am beloved.” His action changes my being. I become a new person, with a new self-worth. We only have self-worth because God imparts His grace and value into us.

My faith in God’s love for me demands a change in how I see myself. “Behold what love the Father has given us that we might be called children of God! And so we are!” – I John 3:1. That includes you and me. Just like John, we are now beloved children of God. We proclaim by faith, “I am beloved.”

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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