Greetings to the Father, Son, Spirit, angels and saints in Christ. I don’t want to belabor the point about the importance of relationship with the Lord, but the Lord had asked me to show you something about John. Do you remember that it was John who asked the question at supper as to who would betray the Lord? They were at the last supper and having a discussion about servanthood when Jesus changed the topic:

“When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.

And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (Jn 13: 21-26).

Notice the interplay among the disciples, like children:

  • Simon Peter, knowing that John was the favorite, beckoned and asked him to find out who was the betrayer. Simon was so scared that he was “it”.
  • John played along with Simon and asked the question. Remember that Jesus was troubled in His spirit and may not have given the answer to any of the other disciples. Ever been in a situation like that? Jesus then answered that the betrayer was Judas Iscariot.

John later referred briefly to the betrayal in Jn 21: 20, when he described the event in which Jesus appeared to the disciples while they were fishing after the resurrection. As the Lord walked along the sea shore in conference with Simon Peter, John followed behind. The scripture says that:

“…Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?” (Jn 21:20).

Why did John follow closely behind Peter and the Lord? Why did he refer back to the fact that he had asked the question at the supper if it was not an important question in this context? Why did he say here that he had leaned on Jesus’ breast at supper?:

  • John was following because he was always in the Lord’s presence and never far away. This may not have been true of the other disciples.
  • He wanted to remind his brother Peter that although he had been given such a task of feeding the sheep, he John was really the favorite (a case of sibling rivalry).
  • Thirdly, he is emphasizing his right to follow closely and overhear the conversation based on his closeness to the Lord. How else did he know what they had spoken about? Jesus did not run him off, because it was ok. He was accustomed to John.
  • Fourthly, John is letting us know that he was really in the know as to who the betrayer was.

If you read the interplay again in modern day terms, you will find the hidden meaning in John 21:20:

  • In order to validate his claims about who Jesus was, John referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved several times in the book of John (JN 13: 23; Jn 19: 26; Jn 20: 2; JN 21:7; Jn 21:2). In Jn 21:24, he refers to himself in the same light as a journalist who has first hand information about the events when he said, “this is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things”.
  • Jesus Himself confirmed that John was closer to Him than a brother when he told Mary to replace that disciple as her son in these words from the cross: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!” In essence he was saying to her, John is now your beloved son. Love him the same way in which you loved me (Jn 19:26).

I need to read the books of the gospels more closely to enquire into the closeness of the brotherhood between the Lord and John in order to show you more clearly. However, if you remember, it was John the beloved who exposed Judas’ motives for wanting the money bag by saying that he was a thief. The other disciples, in writing about Judas, skirted the issue and did not see him in this light. John, meantime, spoke from inside information. He and the Lord must have had many a laugh at Judas’ antics and schemes to get hold of and to spend the money. After all, the Lord knew all things!

I want to further show you that there were very few people who were cited as Jesus’ favorites in the gospels. They included Martha, Mary and Lazarus (Jn 11:15) and the young, rich man who never made it into the kingdom because he chose his wealth over the Lord (Mk 10:21). John showed that he was one who could be trusted with information. He also had a sense of humor, like the Lord. They must have been very much alike to have become such great friends. John was extra special. We really need people like John in our lives. John means the grace and mercy of the Lord, showing that John must have been a lot like the Lord. Jesus surnamed John and his brother the sons of thunder