February 23 – The Beloved Disciple

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23 – The Beloved Disciple

John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20

In each of these passages, we find John speaking of the disciple whom Jesus loved. In John 13:23 we find him leaning back against Jesus at the Last Supper asking who it was who would betray the Lord; in John 19:26, Jesus commends the care of his mother to this disciple; in John 20:2, he runs ahead of Peter to the tomb of Jesus; in John 21:7, this disciple tells Peter that it is the Lord who is on the beach when they were fishing after the crucifixion and Resurrection had occurred and in John 21:20, when Peter asks about the disciple, Jesus replies that his will for Peter’s friend is of no concern to Peter.

History identifies the Beloved Disciple as John, the brother of James and friend of Peter. It is John who wrote the fourth gospel, three epistles and it was John who received the Revelation.

Jesus did love this bold and brash young man who was given, along with his older brother James, the name Boanerges which means Sons of Thunder, by Jesus (Mark 3:17).  In Luke 9:54, John and James were furious at a village of Samaritans who didn't want anything to do with Jesus and asked if he wanted them to call down fire from heaven to consume the people.  Luke 9:55 tells us that Jesus rebuked them.

In Matthew 20:20-24, their mother asked Jesus if he would grant them the right to sit at his right and left hand in heaven. The story Mark tells is that it was James and John who asked for that privilege, but whoever it was that spoke to the Lord, the other disciples were furious at the audacity.

It was John who followed Jesus into the council chamber at His trial and then to the governor’s headquarters (John 18:16, 19, 28) and it was John who stayed with Jesus during the crucifixion (John 19:26, 27) and at that point, Jesus asked John to care for His mother.

John stayed in Jerusalem for a while after the Resurrection of Jesus and was apparently the leader of the church there (Acts 15:6, Gal. 2:9).  After that, there is no longer any mention of him in Paul’s letters or in Acts.  He retired to Ephesus and tradition says that Mary stayed with him there until she died.  He took on the responsibility of caring for the churches in Asia and it is to them he wrote the letters found in the first chapters of the Revelation from Patmos where he had been banished.

Jesus loved this man and John felt that love to his very marrow. He lived his life with great confidence that he was loved by Jesus Christ. Because we know that Jesus’ love is complete and is fully available to each of us, we can live our lives in the same manner.  Jesus loves us. We are loved by the Lord.