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The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved.

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved.

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Published by glennpease
BY GEORGE HODGES


One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 13: 23.
BY GEORGE HODGES


One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 13: 23.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 04, 2014
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 THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED. BY GEORGE HODGES One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 13: 23. ST. JOH the apostle stood at the top of a profession in which all good people are en- gaged. He was a saint; to which excellent estate we are all called. It may well be of interest and profit to us, disciples like him of the Lord Jesus, and members as he was of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Blessed Life, to consider how this our neighbor, who in his boyhood caught fish for a living in the Lake of Galilee, became so eminent a person. Think of it! a sun-browned fisherman, who plied his homely trade in the waters of a Syrian pond, has gained a name greater than that of Alexander or of Caesar. In countless cities, under all the skies of the planet, conse- crated buildings, costly and beautiful, bear his name. For now these many centuries, words of his writings have stirred the hearts of the best men and women of the world, and have been an encouragement in defeat, a com- fort in trouble, a shield and spear in spiritual conflict, an enrichment of life, a fountain of pure joy. Add together the intellectual and 217 218 THE HUMA ATURE OF THE SAITS. moral achievements of Aristotle and of Plato ; yes, and of all the philosophers beside who ever wrote in any language ; and the result of
 
all the good they ever did, of all the change they ever wrought in man's believing or be- having, will not compare for a moment with the contribution which this fisherman has made to the best wealth of the world. For the sources of our Christian faith are plainly these : first, the life of Jesus Christ ; secondly, the interpretations of His life. The story of what He did and said is set down plainly in the first three gospels: the meaning of it is declared by St. John and by St. Paul : by St. Paul, the apostle of the atonement, and by St. John, the apostle of the incarnation. St. John does not tell the Christmas story : his account of our Lord begins with the baptism. But it is from him chiefly that we learn the supreme truth with which the Fourth Gospel opens, that the Word was God and was made flesh. He it was, with St. Paul, who per- ceived God in Christ, and taught men so. How did he do it ? How did it come to pass ? How did John of Bethsaida, fish vender, grow up into the beloved disciple, St. John the Divine ? The father of John was Zebedee ; his mother was Salome. "We are not told much about THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED. 219 either of them : of his father, very little, in- deed. He was a fisherman, with some small means, a master fisherman, having men in his employ. He seems to have owned a house in Jerusalem, to which after the tragedy of the crucifixion, John took the Yirgin Mother. His wife, probably after his death, is said to have ministered unto Jesus of her substance.
 
It is plain, however, that he was by no means rich : at least, he was not so rich but that he worked with his hands, pulling at oars and sails and nets. The only clear look we get at him shows him with his sons and his hired men, a sturdy, sunburned person, with a fisherman's needle in his hands, busy at the common task. We see enough to know that he was industrious and frugal, of a practical habit, not impulsive, not given to dreaming in the daytime, nor enthusiastic, nor even hos- pitable towards new ideas, intent upon the lake and the weather, the nets and the fish, going steadily to and fro, day after day, be- tween his house and his boat. When Jesus came and called his two sons, he sat silent, not offering to go himself, yet opposing no hindrance to their going. The sentence in the gospel, " Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons," has been used as a text for a sermon in- 220 THE HUMA ATURE OF THE SAITS. tended for men who do not go to church, be- ginning, " But where was Zebedee ? " Yarious reasons are assigned for Zebedee's absence. It is altogether likely that by that time Zebe- dee was dead. Still, the fact remains that while his wife was deeply interested in relig- ion, and his sons devoted themselves to it, Zebedee himself appears to have gone on about his ordinary business. He stayed at home, and attended to the fishing. Salome, it is thought, was a sister of the mother of our Lord : for St. John says that in

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