Which Disciple Did Jesus Love The Most

Who Is the Disciple Jesus Loved?

However, while the Transfiguration appears less frequently in religious iconography than other sacred topics, it has not failed to inspire a number of outstanding painters throughout history. Artists from both the East and the West have depicted this extraordinary occurrence in their works of art. Many magnificentByzantine icons, as well as marvellous mosaics, such as those found in the Monastery of Santa Caterina sul Sinai, the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, and the allegorical Transfiguration found in the mosaic of the apse of Sant’Apollinare in Classe a Ravenna, depict the subject of the transfiguration.

For the chapel of Santi Giacomo e Giovanni in Milan, the artist Marko Ivan Rupnik made an outstanding mosaic, which may be seen here.

Plenty of Love for All

In order to be clear, when the author refers to himself five times as “the one whom Jesus loved,” he is not claiming that Jesus doesn’t love the other people in the world.

  • It is this particular author who claims in John 11:5 that Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
  • It is this very author who claims that Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
  • John 13:1 states that “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” — which is frequently interpreted as “to the utmost.” It is this particular author who wrote the verse. That completes the list. He also quotes Jesus as stating in John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you,” referring to all of my disciples in the plural, “as the Father has loved me.” He also states in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” — all of you — “as I have loved you.”

To put it another way, this writer is not attempting to claim for himself the love of Jesus while also barring others from receiving it. There’s something else going on. After I finish this sentence, I’ll return to it.

Peter and the Loved Disciple

But, returning to the original question, who is it? Who is it that we are referring to? Peter, James, and John were known to be the closest associates of Jesus, as evidenced by the accounts in the other Gospels. Those three, for example, were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8), and they were able to see him because they were with him. This unidentified disciple appears to have had a close relationship with Peter, based on the way the Gospel of Matthew portrays his actions.

  1. “So Simon Peter gestured to him to ask Jesus of whom he was referring,” according to John 13:24.
  2. “So she fled and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,” the Bible says of Mary Magdalene on the morning of the resurrection, in order to tell what she had witnessed (John 20:2).
  3. The reason I minister and live is because of this.
  4. Also in verse 7, as Jesus cried out to them from the shore, the disciple whom Jesus loved responded by saying to Peter, “It is the Lord.” Finally, in 21:20, the disciple whom Jesus adored is seen following Peter and Jesus on the road to Jerusalem.
  5. And we know that Peter, James, and John were extremely close to one another as well as to Jesus.

As for James, we know that he had been slain by the time this Gospel was written (Acts 12:2), so he isn’t a candidate for this very intimate connection with Peter, who is described as “the one whom Jesus loved.” Thus, we are left with a significant chance that John the apostle is the disciple whom Jesus loved and is the author of this Gospel, as previously stated.

Since the beginning of time, practically every other tradition, even those outside of the Bible, has agreed with this conclusion almost unanimously.

‘Christ’s Love Controls Me’

This brings us full round to the question of why this author, John the apostle, refers to himself five times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in his writings. To wrap things up, allow me to make three last proposals. For starters, it establishes the author as an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry throughout the whole book. He alludes to himself in an indirect manner during the Last Supper, on the cross when he accepts Jesus’s mother into his family, at the empty tomb, and in his first face-to-face encounter with Jesus after the resurrection, among other instances.

Second, it’s possible that this is John’s way of expressing, “My most significant identification is not my name, but the fact that I am loved by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I’m loved, I’m loved, I’m loved.” “Jesus has a special place in my heart.” In a third instance, he could have been paraphrasing the apostle Paul, who said in 2 Corinthians 5:14–15, “The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for their sake.” John would be stating something like this: “I identify myself as loved by Christ since this is the all-constraining, all-controlling truth in my existence.” This is one of the reasons why I’m writing the Gospel.

This is the reason why I minister and why I live.

Who was the disciple whom Jesus loved?

As a result, we are brought back to the original question: Why does this author, John the apostle, refer to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” five times? To wrap things off, allow me to make three last points. In the first place, it establishes the author as an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ ministry over the entire period. The Last Supper, the cross, when he welcomes Jesus’s mother into his household, the empty tomb, and the first face-to-face interaction with Jesus after the resurrection are all examples of how he refers to himself in an indirect manner.

First and foremost, it’s possible that this is John’s way of stating, “My most essential identification is not my name, but my love for Jesus the Son of God.” He is not attempting to deprive anybody else of this privilege; rather, he is reveling in it: “I am loved, I am loved, I am loved — that is who I am.” He (Jesus) cares about me.

John would be stating something like this: “I identify myself as loved by Christ because it is the all-constraining, all-controlling truth in my existence.” As a result of my efforts, I am composing the Gospel.

Herein is my motivation for being a pastor and for living. “My actions are controlled by Christ’s love for me.

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Who Was the Beloved Disciple?

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Who was “the disciple Jesus loved”?

We should love one another since this is the gospel you have received from the beginning.– 1 John 3:11 The “disciple Jesus loved” is commemorated at the Basilica’s Saint John Chapel, which is dedicated to him. St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, is commemorated on December 27th as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” as the Church puts it (John 13:23). Author of a Gospel narrative, three epistles, and the book of Revelation, John was not only close to Jesus during his lifetime, but he was also a spiritual teacher for all of time.

John, the Disciple

The first time John saw Jesus was while he and his brother James were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. It was after a whole night of unsuccessful attempts that they were apprehensive when Jesus instructed them to drop their nets into the sea yet again. Nonetheless, they cooperated and were amazed to see as they caught more more fish than they could possibly store in their boat (Luke 5:1-11). Following this miracle, Jesus invited them to accompany him, promising that he would make them fishers of men (Matthew 4:18-22).

What is interesting about their testimony is that they did not appear to have any reservations.

John was one of Jesus’ closest disciples and was present for some of the most pivotal events of Jesus’ earthly ministry, including the Transfiguration and the raising of Jairus’ daughter, as well as accompanying Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion.

He was also the sole disciple to see Jesus’ crucifixion, while the others were absent.

A pose usual of the Eastern dining practice and indicative of their personal relationship is depicted as John having his head resting on Jesus’s shoulder during The Last Supper. Saint John, as shown at the Our Mother of Africa Chapel (Our Mother of Africa Chapel).

Son of Thunder

However, this does not rule out the possibility that John need spiritual direction from time to time. John and his brother James’ ferocious evangelistic fervor and violent emotions led Jesus to refer to them as “the Sons of Thunder,” which was intended to be a comical reference (Mark 3:17). As soon as James and John learned that a man was casting out devils in Jesus’ name, they banned him from continuing in that manner (Luke 9:49). Several verses later in the same chapter, when Jesus started out for Jerusalem and the Samaritans declined to accompany him on his journey, James and John were furious with him.

One of the most famous instances is when the two men approached Christ and requested if they may one day sit at his right and left hands — to which Jesus answered, “You do not realize what you are asking” (Mark 10:37-38).

John’s Focus on Love

Throughout his Gospel and epistles, John emphasizes the importance of love and the importance of relationships. As recorded in John’s account of the Last Supper, Jesus’ final instruction is centered on love: “As the Father loves me, so do I also love you.” Continue to be in my affection. If you follow my commandments, you will continue to be in my love, just as I have followed my Father’s commandments and continue to be in his love. I’ve told you this so that my happiness can be shared with you and your happiness can be full.

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Why John’s Gospel is Unique

What distinguishes John’s account of the Gospel from other accounts? Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of John’s Gospel is his primary goal to account for Jesus’ divinity — the Gospel of John opens with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In addition, John’s Gospel contains a number of small facts that are not found in any of the other Gospels. Minor individuals like as the high priest’s father-in-law and the slave whose ear was severed at Jesus’ betrayal, for example, are identified by name by the author (John 18:13; 18:10).

As far as the disciples were concerned, John was the only one who died quietly rather than via martyrdom.


John Chapel; St. Joseph Chapellunette window; Our Mother of Africa Chapel;Byzantine Ruthenian Chapelicon; Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel; West Transept mosaic “The Second Coming,”; W-Chancel Clerestory window; Sanctuary dome mosaic, UC; Redemption Dome Mosaic; The Trinity DomeSE


“The Lives of the Saints” by Butler (ed. by Bernard Bangley) The Way of the Saints by Cowan

Light a Candle at the Basilica

We encourage you to light a candle at the Basilica today in honor of St. John the Evangelist. Around the Upper Church and Lower Crypt level of the National Shrine, vigil lights are lit in chapels throughout the building. In each candle, we see a symbol of the supplicants’ faith and the intensity of their prayers, which are entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.

Why Is John the “Disciple Whom Jesus Loved”?

There appear to be several instances of nicknames and name changes in both the Old and New Testaments. The “Sons of Thunder” include Simon and Peter, Esau and Edom, and others. Almost everyone who follows Jesus appears to be given a loving nickname, which is occasionally given by Jesus himself. However, in the fourth Gospel, we come upon something quite different. ‘The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved,’ says the author of the Gospel of John, referring to himself by an unusual moniker. The “Beloved Disciple” is a title used by John in different translations to refer to himself.

“Did John actually believe that?” In my situation, as is often the case, subsequent research later in life invalidated my primary school frame of reference.

What Does John’s Nickname Mean?

With his self-given label, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” it appears that John is attempting to boost his ego by associating himself with the Savior. As previously stated, Jesus had an inner circle of three disciples to whom he demonstrated his transfiguration (Matthew 17), with John being one of them. In fact, Jesus instructs John to look after his mother while Jesus is being crucified with him. So, did John use this name as a flex in order to get what he wanted? Scholars, on the other hand, disagree.

  • The title was more than likely a magnificent title with a connotation that did not translate into our own society, as William Barclay explains in this passage from his book.
  • More information about this will be provided in the next section.
  • After all, on the night that he was deceived, he bathed the feet of everyone in the house.
  • As indicated in the Answers in Genesis page, it’s possible that John uses this name to remind readers of the immense love that they, too, have experienced.
  • Because John does not offer an explanation for the name, we are unable to determine its true significance.

However, it is possible that John chooses this moniker to serve as a reminder to himself and others of Jesus’ compassionate mission on earth and the disciples’ call to carry the message of that love to every country across the world. The image is courtesy of Getty Images/Javier Art Photography.

Why Did John Call Himself “The Disciple Who Jesus Loved”?

As we discussed in the preceding section, we don’t know the specific reasons for which John would choose to bequest himself such a name. After all, he isn’t referred to by this name in any other Gospel story. This suggests that John solely used this as a way to refer to himself. We can rule out egotism because John did not choose this name in order to bring attention to himself. Instead, it appears that the inverse is more likely. John wanted to remain nameless for his own reasons. Those who read the Gospel and were eyewitnesses to the events would have recognized John’s identity based on a number of crucial facts that he highlights.

However, John appears to be attempting to deflect attention away from himself in the tale by eliminating his name and substituting a nickname for it, which is a characteristic: someone who is loved by Jesus.

He discovers truth, his own identity, and his own purpose as a result of God’s love.

There aren’t many alternative explanations for why John chose this nickname for himself, according to the academic community.

The Importance of Nicknames in the Bible

Nowadays, we may refer to our spouse, individuals with whom we participate in sports leagues, and even coworkers by their nicknames. However, throughout the period of the Old and New Testaments, nicknames had a considerably more profound significance to them. According toVincent Ketchie’s essay, names and nicknames in the Bible frequently reflect a person’s purpose or identity via their use. People who changed someone’s name or gave them a nickname held a certain level of power and influence over the individual who had changed his or her name.

As a result, when someone adopts a new name or nickname (such as Paul or John), they are emphasizing a crucial aspect of their mission.

such as changing his surname to Paul.

Why Should We Care About This?

After all, why should it matter what John refers to himself as in his Gospel account? Indeed, didn’t he come up with the moniker on purpose in order to avoid calling attention to himself? There are a variety of reasons why we should be concerned about nicknames, and this one in particular. First and foremost, John reminds us of the transformational power of God’s love in our lives. We may all identify with the disciple whom Jesus adored and refer to ourselves as such. Because he has a job. He cares for us in an extraordinary and unwavering way.

  • Second, we should be aware of the immense power that names possess.
  • The number of names for God is endless: Elohim, El Shaddai, Yahweh, and so on.
  • If someone is given a nickname or another name in the Bible, they typically gain a new function, a new instrumental component of their character, in the same and lesser fashion.
  • What a difference a nickname can make in our understanding of a person.
  • This also demonstrates how important it is to consider the context of texts.
  • However, by putting the emphasis on Jesus rather than himself, he demonstrates remarkable humility.
  • In addition to being a multi-published author, Bolinger is also a graduate of the professional writing program at Taylor University.
  • As a writer and editor, she has worked for a number of different publishing firms as well as periodicals, newspapers, and literary agencies, and she has worked with writers such as Jerry B.
  • Her modern-day Daniel trilogy, published by IlluminateYA, is now available.

She is also a co-author of the Dear Heroduology, which was published by INtense Publications and is available for purchase online. Her inspirational adult novel Picture Imperfect, which will be released in November of 2021, will also be released. You may learn more about her by visiting her website.

Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

INQUIRY: Who was the disciple whom Jesus admired and loved? In the book of John, we may locate all of the references to “the disciple whom Jesus loved” that we need (John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2 and John 21:7, John 21:20). As a result, while the Gospel of John does not clearly identify its author, and “the disciple whom Jesus loved” is not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, early Christians unanimously recognized John as the Gospel’s author and as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” According to internal evidence found in the Gospel of John, this is correct.

In order to become members of Jesus’ first group of twelve disciples, they instantly quit their professional lives.

It reads in Matthew 17:1 that after six days, “Jesus gathered his disciples together, including Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a steep mountain by themselves.” Mark 10:37-38 relates how James and John, because of their particular relationship with Jesus, wanted a privileged place in what they mistakenly believed to be Jesus’ earthly kingdom: When they heard it, they said, ‘Let one of us sit to your right and the other to your left in your splendor.'” ‘You don’t understand what you’re asking,’ Jesus responded.

You can drink from the cup I drink from and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but you cannot drink from my cup.

After living in exile on the Isle of Patmos, James was finally killed as a martyr for Christ, while John died of natural causes after a long period of time.

As recorded in John 19:26-27, “When Jesus saw his mother there, as well as the disciple whom he loved standing close, he said to his mother, “Dear lady, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Dear friend, here is your mother.” It was from that point on that this disciple welcomed her into his house.” Aside from writing his eye-witness account of experiences with Christ, which was recorded in the gospel of John, John also wrote the books of 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and the book of Revelation – John’s vision of judgment for the wicked and hope for the future of believers – which are all included in the New Testament.

  1. Revelation was written from the island of Patmos, where John was exiled throughout his stay there.
  2. A frequent topic in John’s works was love, which wasn’t surprising coming from someone who had learnt about love from the great teacher of love.
  3. John was well aware that Jesus recognized him and still loved him unconditionally.
  4. Nobody knows God unless they have loved someone.

God’s love for us was demonstrated in this way: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we can live through him. We love God not because we love him, but because he loves us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” Take a look at another point of view on this issue.

Who was the disciple whom Jesus loved?

The apostle John refers to the disciple whom Jesus cherished on several occasions in the book of John. “. the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him,” says John 13:23. Jesus stated to his mother in John 19:26, “When he saw her there, and the disciple whom he loved standing close by, he said to her, ‘Dear lady, here is your son.” (NIV). “So she ran as fast as she could to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved.,” John 2:20 says. (NIV). What was the name of the disciple whom Jesus cherished?

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Bible Answer:

During Jesus’ time on this planet, he had a favorite disciple whom he cherished beyond all others. He had a special affection for one individual in particular. No, He had a preference for one of his disciples over the others!

The Twelve Disciples

Yes, Jesus loved everyone on the planet, but He chose just twelve men to be His disciples because He wanted them to be like Him. He didn’t wait until our scheduled time to choose one of us today. Jesus did not choose a gentile or a non-Jew to be his disciple. Neither a Jewish leader nor a neighbor like Sam down the block, Charlie, who was heading to seminary, or the tender-hearted priest at the temple were chosen by Jesus. Jesus did not choose just anyone to be his disciple. Among the twelve men he chose were: Peter, Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, John his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

There are twelve of them.

The Inner Group

Jesus spent the most of his time with only three of those twelve men: Peter, John, and James, who were the closest to him. They were on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, seeing his transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-13). When He went to cure a kid, they were the only ones who were with Him (Mark 5:37 and Luke 8:51). They were chosen by Jesus from among the twelve disciples. They were the only ones Jesus took with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane, where they prayed with Him. And they arrived at a location known as Gethsemane, where He instructed His followers to “sit here until I have finished praying.” In the meantime, He gathered with Him Peter, Jame, and John and started to be quite worried and troubled.

He chose Peter because he was the one who would refuse Him.

The Loved One

Jesus spent the most of his time with only three of those twelve men: Peter, John, and James, who were the most important to him. When they arrived on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were with Jesus and his disciples (Matt. 17:1-13). When He went to heal a kid, they were the only ones who were with Him at the time (Mark 5:37 and Luke 8:51). They were chosen by Jesus out of a group of twelve disciples. Their presence in the garden of Gethsemane was unique; they were the only ones Jesus brought with Him to pray with Him.

In the meantime, He gathered with Him Peter, Jame, and John and started to be worried and troubled.” (NKJV) In the book of Mark, verses 32 and 33, the author says The three other disciples Judas, Philip, and Bartholomew were not chosen by Jesus, nor were they chosen by the apostles.

He chose James, who happened to be John’s brother, and He chose the apostle John, who would later be banished to the island of Patmos and write the books of 1, 2, and 3 John, as well as the book of Revelation, as His chosen apostle.


John had spent a great deal of time with Jesus before this. This gives us the idea that John was always there with Jesus throughout the Gospels. John was the disciple who adored Jesus the greatest out of all the others. At the crucifixion, John had put his life in danger for Jesus. And when John learned that the person he had fallen in love with was still alive, he raced as fast as his legs could carry him to where he might find Him. Jesus questioned Peter three times whether he loved Him before the Holy Spirit reminded us that Jesus and John were in a romantic relationship with each other later on.

  • It should come as no surprise that Jesus was able to develop a closer relationship with John.
  • 11:5), Elijah, who was a man of faith (James 5:17-18), and Daniel, whom God “highly valued” (James 5:17-18) all fit this description (Dan.
  • These men were all devoted to God with a fiery desire.
  • So, how do we go about developing such a tight relationship?
  • It indicates that you yearn to be with Him.
  • John was the one who did it.
  • There is a distinction between not wanting to offend Jesus and loving Him with all of one’s heart and being consumed by Him.
  • In our relationship with Jesus, there is a distinction between loving Him now and loving Him when we first came to Him.
  • Is Jesus still your first and most important love?

Lazarus, not John, was the disciple whom Jesus loved

According to tradition, John the Gospel writer was the disciple whom Jesus cherished the most. When you look at it more closely, there is another disciple of Jesus who stands out as a stronger contender and who you are unlikely to have considered: Lazarus. The identity of the “beloved disciple,” or the one whom John refers to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” has remained a mystery throughout history. As early as the second and fourth centuries, Irenaeus and Eusebius both recognized the beloved disciple as John, confirming the identity of the beloved disciple.

In spite of the fact that John does not identify himself or identify himself as the author of the Gospel of John or as the beloved disciple, we have depended on tradition and church history to establish his identity.

It may come as a surprise to some, but the Bible does provide some dramatic hints to the enigma of the beloved disciple. According to John’s gospel, which is the only gospel to mention this “beloved” disciple, we learn of five times in which he appears:

  • The disciple whom Jesus adored, according to tradition, was John the Gospel author. When you look at it more closely, there is another disciple of Jesus who stands out as a stronger contender, and he is someone you have most likely never considered before: Lazarus. Although the “beloved disciple” or the one whom John refers to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” is not identified, his or her identity has long been a mystery to scholars. As early as the second and fourth centuries, Irenaeus and Eusebius both recognized the beloved disciple as John, confirming the tradition. John has received a great deal of attention from academics like as Raymond Brown, who has described him as the one whom Jesus cherished. The fact that John does not identify himself as the author of his Gospel or as his beloved disciple has led us to rely on tradition and church history to make this determination. In the event that we are to rely on tradition in order to identify the beloved disciple, what about the internal evidence of the scriptures? It may come as a surprise to some, but the Bible does provide some dramatic hints to the enigma surrounding the beloved disciple. Five occasions are mentioned in John’s gospel, which is the only gospel that makes reference to this “beloved” disciple.

However, there is a sixth occurrence in which this declaration of love for the one whom Jesus loved is used. John the 111th The illness of Lazarus of Bethany, the hamlet where Mary and her sister Martha lived, had now come to the fore. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and cleaned his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was in the hospital and needed Mary’s assistance. 3 As a result, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is sick.” 5Now Jesus had a special affection for Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.

  • I’d like you to think about something for a moment.
  • You may argue that Lazarus did not belong to the original twelve disciples.
  • The word disciple is derived from the Greek word (mathts), which literally translates as a learner of a teacher or a master.
  • The twelve disciples were the very first ones to follow Jesus.
  • According to Luke 10, there were an additional 70 disciples who went out into the cities and villages to witness Jesus’ resurrection.
  • These women were also a member of the inner core of Jesus’ ministry, and they provided financial support to the movement (Luke 8).
  • Almost everyone overlooks the fact that “other women” (Luke 24:10) are referred to as the first evangelists of Jesus’ resurrection.

Because Mary anointed Jesus and was in close proximity to Jesus before he entered Jerusalem, it seems probable that Mary and Martha are among those present (Mark 14).

We know that families were active in Jesus’ movement: James and John were brothers, Mary and Martha were sisters, and numerous early church leaders were linked by birth or marriage to one another.

Assuming that Lazarus was going to be slain with Jesus, as stated in John 12:10, it becomes sense that the author of John would identify Lazarus as the disciple whom Jesus cherished.

As it turns out, Lazarus plays a more significant part in Jesus’ life than you may expect.

Actually, he sobs — a more melancholy sob than usual.

During his crucifixion, the Bible records that Jesus cried out in a loud voice, saying “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46) Jesus weeps for the death of his “friend,” Lazarus, whom he had come to love as a result of his death in John 11:35.

Lazarus has the distinction of being the only person in the Gospel who does all of the following:

  1. Being the only person in scripture who is specifically identified as “he whom you love” (Jesus loved everyone, but this statement is unique to him
  2. Being the sole person to be mentioned by a gathering of individuals who exclaimed, “See how he adored him.” (See also John 11:36). Being the only person for whom Jesus personally wept and mourned
  3. Being the only person for whom Jesus was prepared to be stoned
  4. And being the only disciple or person who was to be executed beside Jesus are all noteworthy. (See also John 12:10) Being the sole friend/disciple of Jesus who was the recipient of a healing miracle is a significant accomplishment. (Jesus restored health to Peter’s mother-in-law.) It is only after the resurrection of Lazarus in the Book of John that the disciple “whom Jesus loved” is mentioned again.

Being the only person in the Bible who is specifically identified as “he whom you love” (Jesus loved everyone, but this phrase is unique to him); A bunch of people exclaimed, “See how he loved him,” and mentioned only one other individual. In the Bible, John 11:36 says, It was the only person for whom Jesus personally wept and mourned; it was the only person for whom Jesus was ready to be stoned; and it was the only disciple or person who was to be executed with Jesus Jesus said this in John 12:10.

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law’s ) It is only after the resurrection of Lazarus in the Book of John that the disciple “whom Jesus loved” is mentioned by name.


DeWitt Community Church is led by the Rev. Alan Rudnick, who also serves as its Executive Minister. On television and radio, he has been interviewed, and he has written for publications such as the Albany Times Union, Syracuse Post Standard, The Christian Century, Christian Citizen, Leading Ideas, Christian Reflection, and Baptist News Global, among others. He is the author of “The Work of the Associate Pastor” (Judson Press) and is currently a doctorate student in the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Who Was Jesus’ Beloved Disciple?

In response, when Jesus noticed His mother and the disciple whom He adored standing nearby, He exclaimed to her, ‘Woman, behold your son!'” John 19:26 (NIV) Throughout the book of John, we are told six different stories about an unknown figure who is variously referred to as “the one whom Jesus loved,” “the other disciple,” and “the beloved disciple.” For years, academics and laypeople alike have scratched their heads in bemusement as they tried to figure out who this individual was.

Several hypotheses have been proposed.

Looking at information from biblical texts, we may have a clearer idea of who this enigmatical figure could possibly be.

The Book of John

Before we begin, we must attempt to determine who was the author of the book of John. In accordance with Christian tradition, the Beloved Disciple is John, the son of Zebedee and the brother of James. There is no evidence to support this notion because John never mentions his own name once in the whole book (it is crucial to note that the other three Gospel writers likewise do not mention their own names in the Gospels). Revelation 1:1, on the other hand, does include a reference of his name.

His position of power within the early church, as well as the events he personally experienced, gave him enormous latitude in writing a “spiritual gospel” that was widely accepted by the congregation.

It appears that John may be the correct author of the book that bears his name, according to the evidence. His presence at several of Jesus’ most crucial ministry occasions was due to his status as a disciple and close companion of Jesus.

  • The Transfiguration on the Mount (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36)
  • The Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1–14)
  • The Beatitudes (Matthew 6:1–14)
  • Walking on water, as described by Jesus in John 6:15
  • Jesus’ appearance on the beach following His resurrection (John 21)
  • A number of miraculous healings
  • And more.

And there are many more. As a result, John would have firsthand knowledge of such occurrences. While John was not there for Jesus’ trial before Annas, Caiaphas’ brother-in-law, the author goes into considerable detail about what transpired within the high priest’s house (John 18:12-23). How would John be able to tell the truth about what happened? The second unnamed disciple who accompanied Peter to the high priest’s home in verse 15 may have told John about it, but there is no Biblical evidence to support this assumption.

Two Johns vs. One

Some academics believe that John did not write both the Gospel book and the three New Testament writings that carry his name, as has been suggested by some. The author of the book may have been an apprentice or someone working as a final editor, according to the theory, and they did not modify the title of the book to reflect this. Despite this, there is a shared vocabulary and style between the Gospel book and the three letters (though scholars consider the Gospel book to be less polished), which is why many believe that the four books of the Bible were all written by the same author, as is the case with the four books of the Bible.

In addition, some academics have spoken about a guy named John the Elder, who some believe is the same person as John the apostle, while others believe he is not.

Papias was a second-century historian who worked hard to understand the sayings of key figures in the Bible.

A difference of this nature might indicate that either John “the apostle” later became “the elder,” or that they are two entirely different persons from one another.

Another Good Candidate

Following up on his previous suggestion, Evangelical Bible scholar Ben Witherington recently spoke with Bible Study Magazine about still another alternative. However, despite the fact that some of his arguments do not make total sense, he comes up with one potential conclusion concerning who the Beloved Disciple is and who penned the book of John. And it’s a viewpoint shared by many other academics. Witherington argues that Lazarus, rather than John, is the author of the Gospel of John. Yes, this is the same Lazarus who was resurrected from the grave by Jesus.

  1. Despite the fact that we have no evidence to support this, Witherington believes that it all makes perfect sense and that it all points to who the true Beloved Disciple is.
  2. The obvious conclusion is that Lazarus is the illustrious Beloved Disciple.
  3. It is the idea of love that runs throughout the Bible, particularly in the book of John.
  4. As a result, we must consider whether Witherington’s assertion that Lazarus, the one whom Jesus loves, is the actual Beloved Disciple is correct.
  5. It’s possible that it’s both of them.

It’s possible that it’s someone else entirely. Simply attempting to determine who penned the book of John does not provide us with a satisfactory solution to our query about who the Beloved Disciple is. If we want to learn more, we must look at more pieces of biblical evidence.

Beloved Disciple Criteria

The Beloved Disciple is well-known to us in a number of ways.

  1. All references to the disciple are made with the pronouns “he,” “he,” and “his.” The disciple is always identified as a man by the pronouns “he,” “him,” and “his.” If every follower of Jesus is considered a disciple, it is possible that the Beloved Disciple was not one of the original twelve disciples. In John 19:26-27, Jesus sees His mother and “the disciple whom He loved” standing close the foot of the cross, just before He gives up His spirit. He is not satisfied with seeing His mother go through life alone (since women did not have rights at the period), so He gives her to His disciple.

“Since that time, that disciple has taken her into his own household.” This passage suggests that the disciple resided in the vicinity rather than in Galilee, which was around 80 miles distant. Further proof that Mary remained in the vicinity of Jerusalem following Jesus’ death may be seen in Acts 1:14, when all of the disciples (including Mary) are assembled in the upper chamber.

  1. Due to the fact that the disciple was standing near the cross during the crucifixion, it appears that this individual was not one of the original twelve disciples. Every single one of them had fled during Jesus’ arrest in the garden out of fear that they would be arrested too

There were other men who may have met the requirements. With the exception of John, who was most likely in hiding, two of Jesus’ “secret followers,” Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, are possible candidates for this position. Their dwellings would have been close to Jerusalem, they would have been present at Annas’ house, and they would not have been concerned about being imprisoned by the Romans because they were Sanhedrin members. Some believe that the Beloved Disciple might have been either Thomas or Phillip, both of whom were among the original twelve disciples.

In addition, their residences, like John’s, were still in Galilee.

Evidence of Lazarus

In accordance with Witherington’s theory, Lazarus was the original author of the book of Revelation. The fact that not only does Mary identify Lazarus as the one Jesus loves, but that Jesus also demonstrates His love by raising Lazarus from the dead four days later (remember, this is the only passage of Scripture in which it is stated that “Jesus wept,” which is found in John 11:35) demonstrates Jesus’ love for Lazarus. Lazarus would have been in an ideal position to comprehend what Jesus stated about His own imminent death and resurrection if he had lived through death and resurrection.

  1. Meanwhile, “the other disciple” enters through the opening in the tomb where Peter is standing, attempting to figure out what has occurred.
  2. How?
  3. “Because they were unaware of the Scripture, which said that He would have to rise from the dead.” The premise is that “the other disciple” quickly grasped what had transpired at the tomb since he had the same experience as the other disciple.
  4. They “weren’t familiar with the Scripture.” Another piece of evidence is the location of Lazarus’s residence.
  5. As previously said, if Jesus entrusted his mother to His Beloved Disciple, it is reasonable to assume that person had a residence nearby.

Further evidence suggests that, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, he would not have been concerned about being arrested by the Romans. As a result, it is concluded that “the other disciple” must be Lazarus. However, once again, there is no Biblical evidence to support this claim.

The True Beloved Disciple

All three early historians believe that the unnamed Beloved Disciple is John, son of Zebedee, and that he penned the book of John, which explains why church tradition is what it is. Polycrates and Eusebius are the only two historians who disagree. We can’t rule out the notion that Lazarus is the more plausible candidate, albeit it’s unlikely. It doesn’t matter what you believe; if God wanted us to know who this individual was, He would have stated his or her name somewhere in the Gospels. Perhaps God purposefully withheld the identity of the Beloved Disciple in order for this figure to play a specific role in the Gospel account.

The term “disciple” refers to anybody who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior as well as everyone who follows Him, loves Him, and obeys Him.

There is no gradient scale to speak of.

Ultimately, it makes little difference what the Beloved Disciple’s identity is revealed to be in the book of John.

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