The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 17: Jesus and John the Apostle -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 106:422 (Apr 1949)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 17: Jesus and John the Apostle
Author: Everett F. Harrison

The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 17: Jesus and John the Apostle

Everett F. Harrison

(Concluded from the January-March Number, 1949)

XVII. Jesus and John the Apostle

If we were to limit our study to those who appear in the Fourth Gospel by name, we could not include this final chapter. But it is clear from John 21:20–25 that the writer of the book is to be identified with the disciple whom Jesus loved, the one who leaned on His breast at supper in the upper room. There are four other references testifying to this close relationship: John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7 .

It is not too difficult to arrive at the identity of this person. The name of Lazarus has been proposed for this honor, and there is at least one item in its favor—that the love of Jesus for him is mentioned in John 11:3, 5. But there is nothing outstanding here, for Mary and Martha are said to be objects of Jesus’ love as well as Lazarus. Furthermore, it is clear that only the Twelve met with Christ in the upper room, where the beloved disciple is first brought to our attention. The words of our Lord in John 15:15, 16 presuppose a special relationship enjoyed only by the apostles. He had called them servants; now He was calling them friends. They did not choose Him; rather, He chose them. Lazarus is ruled out also by the circumstance that the beloved disciple is found with Peter in Jerusalem when Mary Magdalene races to tell the tidings of the empty tomb. If Lazarus is intended, we would naturally expect him to be residing in his own village of Bethany, outside the city.

We have noted that there are five references to the beloved disciple. Examination reveals that, in four of these,

Simon Peter is closely associated with this figure, whoever he is. The only exception is 19:26, when the beloved disciple stands by the cross. This comradeship points to John, for the Gospels tell us that he and his brother James were partners with Simon Peter in the fishing business (Luke 5:10). More than this, both John and Peter belonged to the small circle of three who enjoyed such intimacy of fellowship with the Master that they were taken with Him on three occasions when the rest we...

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