The Disciple Jesus Loved

Q. There is something I have not been able to figure out. Who was the “Apostle Jesus Loved” in the Last Supper? I have long wanted to know who was given such a distinction and how it came about.

A. “The disciple Jesus loved” is a phrase that appears five times in the New Testament, all in the Gospel of John (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20). Several possibilities for the identity of this disciple have been bandied about over the years, but in John 21:20-24 it becomes clear that this is the way John described himself in the gospel he wrote.

As to how it came about, scholars are also divided. But the most likely reason seems to be due to the fact that Jesus really liked John and they became close friends. And remember, even though Jesus had several brothers He entrusted the care of His mother to John (John 19:26-27).

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