Bible Society of South Africa

The disciple whom Jesus loved – 29 September 2021

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

Jesus and the Other Disciple

20Peter turned round and saw behind him that other disciple, whom Jesus loved — the one who had leaned close to Jesus at the meal and had asked, “Lord, who is going to betray you?” 21When Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”

22Jesus answered him, “If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

23So a report spread among the followers of Jesus that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he said, “If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you?”

24He is the disciple who spoke of these things, the one who also wrote them down; and we know that what he said is true.

John 21:20-24GNBOpen in Bible reader

Both the Gospel according to John and the book of Revelation were written in about 90-95 AD. It is the reason some theologians do not think John wrote the books himself. Most accept that the content, perhaps in oral form, had come from John, the son of Zebedee and brother to James. One day, the two brothers were busy repairing fishing nets when Jesus called them to follow him. As mentioned a few days ago, they may have been related to Jesus.

This calling completely changed their lives, but John is the one that came to the fore more than James. There was a special affection between Jesus and John. The Bible tells us that John was the disciple whom Jesus loved. So strong was this bond that when Jesus was dying on the cross, he selected John to look after his mother.

John was very privileged to be with Jesus for most of the three years of his ministry, but even more privileged to see him, as recorded in Revelation 1:9-20: ”I turned round to see who was talking to me, and I saw seven golden lampstands, and among them there was what looked like a human being” and in verse 14: “His hair was white as wool, or as snow, and his eyes blazed like fire.” Not a human being any more, but the risen Lord in all his glory and splendour, and John had the privilege of seeing him.

John was blessed more than most people but carried the weight of great responsibility. On his shoulders, rested the responsibility of telling the story of Jesus through the writing of one of the Gospel accounts and three short letters in which he put an emphasis on love and truth, plus the revelation he received on Patmos. We are just as blessed as John. Jesus also calls us to follow him, has given us a vision of eternal life and the responsibility to keep telling his story to people every day.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, that I am privileged to meet your Son, Jesus Christ, through your Word and prayer every day. Please help me to carry the message of love that John told us about into the world. Amen

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