John, the Beloved Disciple

John was part of Jesus’s inner circle, but he also has another name he gave himself.  That of the beloved disciple.

John, the son of Zebedee

The Gospel of John is believed to have been written by John the apostle.  This is the only book of the Bible, in which the beloved disciple is referred to. 

We do not know what prompted John to refer to himself this way.  Maybe it is how Jesus made John felt or how he treated the disciples.  We know Jesus was a man who was full of love, compassion and kindness.

The mention of the beloved disciple is mentioned six times in the gospel of John.

“One follower, whom Jesus loved, was beside Jesus.”  {John 13:23-25}  This is during the last supper, when they are reclining, and John ask Jesus who will betray him.

A short time later, Jesus is hanging on the cross and turns to his mother. “”Woman, here is your son”, and to the Beloved Disciple he says, “Here is your mother.”  {John 19:26-27} He gives his mother to John to take care of.  John was the only disciple who was present at the crucifixion.

John was with the women at the crucifixion

 She ran to Simon Peter and the other follower whom Jesus loved.”  {John 20:1-10}        Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb and runs to tell Peter and the Beloved disciple.

The last three references of the beloved disciple are all found in the final chapter of the book of John.

The disciples are fishing, following the resurrection, when Jesus appears on the shore to them. The sons of Zebedee’s is mentioned being one of the disciples in the boat. Later we are told, “that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord.”  {John 21:7}

This is when Peter calls out to the Lord and walks on water to him.  Later that morning or day, Jesus pulls Peter aside and ask him “Lovest Thou Me”.  Jesus then implies how Peter will die. 

How did Peter answer?

Peter and John ran to the empty tomb

 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?”  {John 21:20}

Jesus asked, does it matter, what if he tarries until I return. {John 21:20-24}

John closes his gospel by saying, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.”  {John 21:24}

He signs with a reminder that he is the disciple whom Jesus loved.  He does not say “I am John”, but given the gospel is named for him this is assumed.

But why does he not name himself?

Peter and John were arrested for sharing the gospel

“John does not name himself, as thinking his own name not worthy to be preserved in these records; but gives such a description of himself as sufficiently informs us whom he meant, and withal gives us a reason why he followed Christ so closely. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved, for whom he had a particular kindness above the rest; and therefore you cannot blame him for coveting to be as much as possible within hearing of Christ’s gracious words during those few precious minutes with which Christ favoured his disciples.”   {Matthew Henry Commentary}

John is humbled by his association and relationship with the Lord.

What we do know, is Jesus is a man of love. He loves all of us the way he loved John. He wants only the best for us.

Are you willing to be Jesus beloved child?

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