In our daily conversational language, we hardly use this word, "Appropriate".
So, to some of us, its meaning might not be very clear.
The Webster Handy College Dictionary gives the word, "appropriate" as a verb, meaning:
(1) allot (money) for a specific use [such as for, tithing, emergency days, etc.]
(2) take possession of. [citizenship granted to immigrants]
And as an adjective, the meaning is "suitable, applicable".
The subject that I wish to share with you all is, "how to take possession of someone's love for you".
Let me start with a reference to the gospel according to John. In passages of 13:23, 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, we read a common refrain, "the disciple Jesus loved".
This is an adjective clause of himself, John, the author of the book, Gospel of John.
You would be forgiven, if you were to secretly say to yourself, "Wasn't John a bit thick skinned to self-claim as "...the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved". (John 20:2a)
Some preachers would even emphasize that among the 12 disciples, indeed, John must have been the most loved by Jesus, for that is what the Bible recorded in prints.
I have mulled over this expression, "the disciple Jesus loved ".
Actually, the writer, John could have just written, "myself or I" in those instances. But, no, he wrote 4 words instead of just one word to refer himself to the readers of the book.
Why? Let us find out.
The following are the resultant thoughts of my deliberations.
Firstly, it is erroneous to believe and worse still, to teach an erroneous application that Jesus had loved John more than the other disciples because the Bible has categorically
stated that "For God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:11).
Therefore, it is very safe to believe and teach that Jesus loved all the disciples equally, even, the very one, who would betray Him with a kiss in the garden of Gethsemane, for the reward of mere thirty pieces of silver.
Secondly, this unique reference of "the disciple Jesus loved" is found only in the gospel of John and not in all the other books.
This shows us that the allusion of John being the especially loved disciple of Jesus, was of his own citation /authority, and not a perception upheld by the other disciples.
In other words, the other disciples did not sense or feel it that way (that Jesus loved John more than others).
Therefore, it has to do with how John appropriated Jesus' love for him, in order, for him to come forth to declare himself as, "the one whom Jesus loved".
Herein is a precious lesson for all of us - how to take possession of love from another person?
Needless to say, John would have known, realized and sensed keenly that Jesus loved equally everybody else. Yet, at the same time, he had felt the full force/weight of Jesus' love, as if, intentionally /calculated just for him alone /solely.
I am inclined to believe that whenever John interacted with Jesus, he must have savored the preciousness and greatness of Jesus' love for him.
John had, in essence, tasted and enjoyed Jesus' love as an invaluable /costly, beyond any price commodity; and the converse consequence was being humbled and felt very undeserving.
[I reckon, when John wrote the book, he had already known that Jesus was the Son of God, sent to be The Sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world. In the same way as declared by Peter, "It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God." (1Peter 1:19)]
And as he grew in appreciation for Jesus' love, he had not for a moment felt that he was a recipient of only a shadow fraction of love from Jesus.
I would not be surprised at all that his experience was similar to the multiplication of the 5 loaves and 2 fish that finally fed over 5,000 men (not counting the women and children).
Or, he could have felt Jesus' love oozing and filling him all over him with warmth, much like the froth that overflows from a mug of beer /lager.
You could be like me, if you give careful thoughts to identify /determine the underlying factors for John to appropriate /take possession of Jesus' love in such awesome manner.
I have no shadow of a doubt that John,
never looked /compared himself with others; for if Jesus were to love someone else more, what is that to him?
would not begrudge Jesus, the benefactor for what He would endow on others; and may even rejoice for them;
was grateful for whatever that was on the receiving end with which he was landed with;
that comes with an attitude/ true sense of being undeserving of Jesus' love; after all, he was just a mere fisherman, while Jesus was Son of God;
probably he would be telling his own soul, that in reality, Jesus did not need to love him, if He does not want to; such a stance would orientate him to appreciate hugely whatever love he could receive from Jesus;
was able to look out, recognize and note tokens of love from every word /action from Jesus in his every day's occurrences.
must have felt so special and exceptional, much akin to what my 2+-year-old granddaughter, Isabelle, who told off her young girl, who came visiting and was coming close to me, she stood and said, "this is my grandma" (with increased tone emphasizing on "my". Implying that I was her grandma and not anybody else's, much less for that girl; and after her declaration, she validated with a gesture. She moved from where she was sitting, walked passed that little girl to where I was sitting on the floor, and took a seat on my lap with her back leaning very close to my chest, much like settling a territorial dispute ritual!
Yes, we ought to feel possessive of Jesus' love for us to the extent that we would declare to the world that "I am the One whom Jesus loved".
God Bless You All!