Who is "the disciple Jesus loved"?


I heard this reference in today’s gospel (John). Of whom does it refer and why the title?


It is commonly held that it was St. John himself, using the third person, perhaps out of humility.


It refers to St John, who is thought to have been the youngest of the Apostles.

It seems evident especially in John’s Gospel that He had a very unique & special relationship with Jesus; and he was the only Apostle to be found at the foot of the Cross with Mary; the Mother of Jesus.


It is John, who Jesus instructed to care for Our Lady after his death and who later wrote Revelation while exiled on Patmos island.


I think Our Lord had a special love for John, because John had a special love for Our Lord’s mother.


St. John.


Jimmy Akin answered this question in the March 14th, 2017 episode of Catholic Answers Live at around 29:00.

The question I think your asking is: Is John the Apostle (Son of Zebedee) the Beloved Disciple?

He basically says that there are great arguments for and against John being the Beloved Disciple.

For example, he shows that the Beloved Disciple is seated at the Last Supper in a position even closer to Jesus than Peter, which suggests he’s one of the core Apostles. By process of elimination he concludes that if he is one of the core, it can only be John.

He also makes an argument against it being John the Apostle… He points out that the Beloved Disciple could be John the Elder, a close disciple of Jesus, not one of the 12, yet also an eye-witness to the Gospels. Jimmy sites St. Jerome as holding that position, even teaching that the writer of 1st and 2nd John is this John the Elder, not John the Apostle (Son of Zebedee, the youngest John, present at the foot of the Cross). Pope Benedict XVI also holds this position, because of the way the letters are addressed.

Jimmy also points out that this Beloved Disciple is only seen in Jerusalem and is most likely of a priestly class because the Gospels note that the High Priest knows him. During Christ’s interrogation at the house of the high priest, John is allowed in because he’s known, while Peter is initially denied entrance. He has to leave and get Peter brought in himself… Jimmy says this suggests that it’s unlikely for a Galilean fisherman to have such access to a high priest (which is why Peter is denied entrance to his house).

All of this is incredibly fascinating and I suggest you hear it straight from Jimmy Akin on that podcast, instead of me just sitting here saying “Jimmy Akin says…” a thousand times. :smiley:


Just in case 6 people answering this question wasn’t sufficient…

It was St. John.

Anyone else want to pile on? :stuck_out_tongue:


Eh. When Jesus called the sons of Zebedee, Zebedee was in the boat with servants. So Zebedee was a well-off man. Zebedee might have done business with Caiaphas. Or more likely, Zebedee was a Levite, and John may have been studying to become a priest under Caiaphas.





I will! :smiley:

Actually, not to dispute any of the above (because I agree), but I also wanted to add what I heard a priest suggest once that stuck with me:

Where you read those kinds of things in scripture (“the disciple that Jesus loved” or "the other disciple), try inserting your own name there and consider how it might read. How might the Lord be speaking to you through the scriptures that way?

Of course, it doesn’t work every time, and it’s not a definitive teaching of that verse’s meaning, but I find the exercise worthwhile from time to time.


John the youngest disciple.


In the Church, John. But some theorists would tell you it’s a cover up and the gospel was tampered with and it’s really Mary Magdalene…


Oh…please!!! :rolleyes:


I’m not saying I believe it but I can see how some would interpret it. Like if John wrote the gospel why is he writing in third person as the one Jesus loved? Kind of a cocky fellow huh? I just never really understood why he would refer to himself in those words and not just “I”. It would seem more genuine honestly.


Not cockiness, but humility. Humility is knowing who you are in relation to God and others, not debasing oneself merely for the sake of it…

His is a simple statement of faith and firsthand knowledge of his relationship with Jesus. He is being genuine and honest. Remember he wrote for and to people who knew who he was and what had happened (he hardly knew that centuries later people would be reading his account, his Gospel). He was identifying himself to those who understood what he meant by the expressions he used.

He may also have been using a kind of code to describe himself because he was exiled to Patmos for being a follower of Christ. If the Roman authorities wanted to persecute him for writing his Gospel, they would have a harder time since he did not name himself directly as the author of it. Knowing a bit of history helps us understand many things that are otherwise obscure just from a “cold” reading.


Peter, because he loved Jesus more than John

John 21:15 “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord”


Not quite. If Peter loved Jesus the most, then he would have been with Him at the Cross.

When Jesus said, “Do you love me?” He was referring to selfless love. Peter responded “Lord, You know that I love You,” saying that he loved Jesus like a brother.


did you read John 21:15 ?


I edited it. Check my quote again.

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