At my brother’s wedding rehearsal last June, we all met in the church parking lot beforehand, talking. I had the chance to meet a lot of new people who were friends of my sister in law, so we were all making some new introductions.
In the midst of it, I went up to one woman and said, “Hi I’m Jerome, I’m the groom’s brother.” She gave me one of those looks, you know, where she can tell I had no idea who she was. She pointed over to her left and said, “I belong to him.” Standing there with a big smile was her husband, who I had just met.
So, anyway, they seemed like best of friends and a great couple. We all enjoyed the wedding. But you know, to this very day, I still don’t know her name. But I do remember what she called herself. I thought, that’s her real name.
In writing his Gospel, John never uses his own name. Instead, He calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” a total of five times in his Gospel. What is he doing? He is telling us that he belongs to Him. He is telling us his real name.
Jesus comes to us as a bridegroom to a bride. “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” (Mt 25:6) He seeks to enter into a personal covenant of the deepest union of love with each of us, a covenant that is like marriage, but even deeper. Just like in marriage, He wants to give each of us a new name: and you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will give. (Is 62:2)
He wants to give us our real name:
“I belong to Him.”