The Relationship Between Jesus and John
The disciples recognized John the apostle as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn. 21:20). John was the son of Zebedee and the brother of James. He was a one of the inner circle of three whom Jesus made His most close friends and shared His deepest experiences (Mat. 17:1).
When John and his brother James first came to Christ, they were named the “sons of thunder” (Mr. 3:17). They were proud, self-confident, striving for honor, impulsive, indignant under injury. They harbored the desire for retaliation, and took it when there was an opportunity. But below this hostile exterior, Jesus saw zealous, honest, loving hearts.
John had a deepest loyalty and love for Jesus which seemed to burn purer and brighter in his heart than in the hearts of his fellows. Between him and Jesus, there developed a more close connection than the others had.
A Transformed Disciple
He was ever close by the side of his Master. The Bible tells us, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus love” (Jn. 13:23). This disciple, submitted his mind to the influence of Jesus’ perfect life, and as a result came to replicate it more fully than did his fellow disciples.
He was the most open, the most teachable soul. The Holy Spirit through Jesus’ teachings revealed his faults and he repented of his sins. Divine mercy and grace converted him as he yielded his life to the Savior’s touch.
As John beheld the love and kindness of Jesus, he desired to become like Him. He was younger than the other disciples, and with the uncorrupted trust of youth he allowed the love of God to transform his heart. At first, John was a slow pupil but later on, he carried the yoke of Christ. Consequently, his whole life and personality were changed.
For this reason, Christ entrusted His own mother to this beloved disciple as He hung upon the cross (Jn. 19:25-27). Early Christian tradition tells us that many years later Mary escorted John to Ephesus, where he oversaw the Christian churches of the region.
John was the first of the disciples at the tomb on the resurrection day, and the first to know the glorious truth that the Lord had risen (John 20:8). Thereafter, he dedicated his all to the declaration of a crucified, risen, and returning Savior, witnessing to what he had heard, seen, and experienced “of the Word of life” (1 Jn. 1:1, 2).
As Christ alone could flawlessly reflect the Father, being the only One who knew Him perfectly, so this disciple was highly qualified apostle to present, in his Gospel, the beautiful truths about Jesus the Son of God that loved mankind to death (Jn. 3:16).
In His service,