Meaning of John 21:20-23


#1

I have always had some difficulty understanding what Jesus is saying here in regards to the beloved disciple John, specifically verse 22.


#2

[biblelvb]Matthew 21:20-23[/biblelvb]


#3

good question.

did a little digging and came up with this from the Haydock commentary

Ver. 22. Jesus saith: so I will have him remain,[3] &c. That is, in case I will have him remain; or, as it is in the Greek, if I will have him remain, what is that to thee? It is thy duty, and thy concern, to follow me. (Witham) — When Christ told St. Peter to follow him, he meant, that he should go like himself to the death of the cross; but when he says of St. John, So I will have him to remain till I come, he insinuates that his beloved disciple should not undergo a violent death; but remain in the world, till he should visit him by death, and conduct him to glory. It may likewise be understood of the Revelations, in which our Saviour manifested himself in his glory to this his beloved disciple. [Apocalypse i. 13.] In the Greek, it is, if I will have him to remain; and this is the true reading, according to Estius, and Jansenius, bishop of Ghent, authorized by many Latin copies. Others refer these words of Christ to his coming to destroy Jerusalem: an epoch which St. John survived.


#4

I checked another commentary which (my words:) suggests that this was a prophecy that John would not be martyred.

At another level, or, off to the side you might say, this seems to reflect validity of John’s writing of this gospel, that he should record so carefully what the Lord predicted, and its context. Perhaps it was thus given to John to meditate over what future the Lord had in store for him.


#5

Jesus wasn’t really saying anything about John; what he was doing was to give Peter a simple message: “You need to just mind your own business.”


#6

“Jesus saith to him: So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? follow thou me.”

Do you mean because it sounds like the Second Coming, which didn’t happen in St. John’s lifetime?

In the Catena Aurea, St. Thomas Aquinas records several opinions on the meaning of these words. Here are some excerpts:

GLOSS. I will that he tarry, i.e. I will not that he suffer martyrdom, but wait for the quiet dissolution of the flesh, when I shall come and receive him into eternal blessedness.

THEOPHYL. …] Or, Till I come, i.e. till I give him the commission to preach, for to you I commit now the pontificate of the world: and in this follow Me, but let him remain till I come and call him, as I do you now.

Haydock’s commentary adds another possibility:

It may likewise be understood of the Revelations, in which our Saviour manifested himself in his glory to this his beloved disciple. [Apocalypse i. 13.]


#7

The Orthodox Study Bible remarks that this section clarifies that John was going to live a full life but that it was not being foretold that John would live until Christ’s second coming.


#8

Thank you very much for the commentary, that makes total sense to me now that I read the passage again. It really is not that mysterious of a verse now that it’s explained, but I just couldn’t see it for some reason.


#9

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