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  Bible Question:  In the book of John, the apostle John writes many times about the disciple whom Jesus loved. John 13:23 is one of them, " . . . the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him." John 19:26, "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son'" (NIV). John 2:20, "So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved . . .” (NIV). Who was the disciple whom Jesus loved?
Bible Answer:   While Jesus lived here on this earth, there was one disciple whom Jesus loved most. He loved one person more. No, He liked one disciple more!
     The Disciples. Yes, Jesus loved all of the people in the world, but He picked only twelve men to be His disciples. He did not wait until our time and pick one of us today. Jesus did not pick a gentile or non-Jew. Jesus did not pick a Jewish leader or Sam down the block, Charlie who was going to seminary, or the tender hearted priest at the temple. Jesus did not pick just anyone. He picked twelve men: Peter, Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, John his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax-gatherer, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. Twelve men.
     The Disciples. Among those twelve men, Jesus spent more time with just three of them: Peter, John, and James. They were together with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-13). They were the only ones with Him when He went to heal a child (Mark 5:37 and Luke 8:51).
Jesus selected them from among the twelve. They were the only ones Jesus took with Him to pray with Him in the garden of Gethsemane.

And they came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed. And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled." (NKJV) Mark 14:32-33

Jesus did not pick three other disciples such as Judas, Philip and Bartholomew. He picked Peter, the one who would deny Him. He picked James who was John's brother, and He chose the apostle John, who would later be exiled to the island of Patmos and write the books of 1, 2, and 3 John, as well as Revelation.
     The Loved One. Of those three men, there was one man who understood Jesus more than all the others. There was a closer relationship between him and Jesus. He appears to have wanted to be with Jesus more. Yes, Jesus loved all of the disciples. John 13:1 says that He did. But Jesus was closer to this man because this man wanted to be closer to Jesus. John 21:20 says that Jesus loved this disciple. Scripture never says that about any other disciple.

There was reclining on Jesus’ breast one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. (NASB) John 13:23
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” (NASB) John 19:26
And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” (NASB) John 20:2
That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea." (NASB) John 21:7
Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” (NASB) John 21:20

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