John was an ordinary young man following his father in the family trade of fisherman. Then one day, as Jesus walked by on the shores of Galilee, he called out to John and his brother James. “Immediately,” Matthew writes, “they left the boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:22). Jesus called John into a relationship with him—he trained him, served him, taught him, rebuked him, gave him authority as an Apostle, and even entrusted his mother to John’s care as he was hanging on the cross.
In short, Jesus loved John.
Not just in word, but in deed as well. John knew this; he knew the love of Jesus well. When he wrote his eye-witness account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, he called himself “the one that Jesus loved” (Jn. 13:23). Years after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Apostle John wrote a letter to multiple churches in modern day Turkey. The main thrust of his letter is this: The love of Jesus is for you to experience as well. And once you do, you will never be the same. Or you could say it another way:
Jesus’ love changes everything.