The NIV Application Commentary on the Book of John it is stated that during the Last Supper, John was so close to Jesus (he was leaning his head on Jesus' chest at the time) that Peter, had to lean over to have John ask Him the question he, Peter, wanted to ask Jesus himself (p. 596). After Jesus shocked everyone at the table by telling them that one of them would betray Him, scripture tells us that "The disciples began looking at each other and wondering which one of them Jesus meant. 23 One disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, was near him at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to that disciple and said, "Ask Jesus whom he's talking about!" 25 Leaning close to Jesus, that disciple asked, "Lord, who is it?" (John 13:22-25 (GW). This begs the question: was Jesus' inner circle the only ones who could speak with Him directly and all others had to speak through them? Scripture doesn't really tell us.
The Holman Bible Dictionary (QuickVerse 1999) tells us that in humility and modesty John refused to put his name on his gospel and decided to call himself "the other disciple", or 'the disciple that Jesus loved". John loved Jesus deeply and was the first to recognize the empty tomb for what it meant. John's close relationship would not let him hide like the others when Jesus was on the cross, and because of this relationship Jesus honored John with the care of His mother, Mary, calling him "son" in the process. John settled in Ephesus and preached there until his death.
In the Easton's Bible Dictionary (QuickVerse 1999), John, the beloved disciple, because of his "zeal and intensity of character" was called a "Boanerges", which means "Son of Thunder" (Mark 3:17). John lived and preached in Ephesus, but at what time it is not known. One of John's greatest accomplishments for the church was the writing of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, giving the whole world a glaring description of heaven, hell, and the period when God will call an end to time and humanity's rule on earth. After his time on Patmos was finished, he returned to Ephesus and continued to lead the churches there until his death.
Burge, G. M. (2000). The niv application commentary: john. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The Holman Bible Dictionary. (1897). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers. QuickVerse (Version 6) Bible Software. (1999). Parson's Technology.
Easton's Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA. QuickVerse (Version 6) Bible Software. (1999). Parson's Technology.
Comment: "I think it is incorrect of the church as a whole to believe that Jesus considered John "the beloved disciple," and the reason why is because we are told over and over that God loves everyone equally, we are His children."
Author Response: I am of the mind that if John was wrong to call himself "the beloved disciple" or "the disciple that Jesus loved" then the Holy Spirit would have corrected John as he wrote his gospel down. We are far removed from the time when Jesus walked the earth so I don't think that we can really understand this relationship that John had with Jesus. Yes, Jesus loves us all equally, but even if you love your children all equally, I'm sure that there are some things about each of them that make you love them in different ways even though you love them with the same amount of love. The same way that all of your children love you equally, though there may be one of them who shows their love to you more than the others do. I believe that this is what John had done in his relationship with Jesus. John may have showed his love for Jesus a lot more than the other 11 did. Do you hug all of your kids equally, or do you tend to hug more the one who shows his/her love for you more? Think about it...
Comment: "It would seem to me that John is called the beloved disciple because he always showed such complete trust in Jesus."
Author Response: For some reason for which we don't really know, John was called the beloved. And for some reason, the Holy Spirit let the term remain in John's gospel when he wrote it. But no matter what the reason, it is very clear that John had a special, or closer, relationship than the other writers of the New Testament. It is almost as if John understood Jesus' divinity more than the others because John was entrusted with telling about Jesus' divinity, not only in his gospel but in his three epistles, including an extended visit to Heaven to see Jesus and to get the vision of the end times from Him. Jesus entrusted John to write one of the most important books of the Bible that all Christians need to read and understand -- the Book of Revelation. If all Christians read and understood this book, for which there are many helps out there to do this, we would understand the urgency to get the word of Jesus out to the world, because, sooner or later, the thief will come and the door will be closed.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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