John the Apostle

Sep 1, 2021
John the Apostle was part of the inner circle of Jesus. He was also the author of five books in the New Testament. Yet with all of that, the authors of Matthew, Mark, and Luke hardly quote him.

John called himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” That probably wasn’t an overstatement, because Jesus entrusted his mother, Mary, to John upon his death.

As Luke describes the middle part of Jesus’ ministry, he starts relating more stories about the seriousness of committing to follow Jesus. Jesus was running out of time to train his apostles and certainly had less time to spend with disciples who would not fully commit to him. When Jesus sent out the seventy disciples, it was an opportunity for them to learn the rewards of full commitment. One reward was that Jesus saw Satan fall like lightning from the sky.

As you read Luke 10, notice how Jesus stresses the importance of full commitment in both his actions and his stories. Even in his confrontation with the Pharisees, he makes it clear that you simply being close to being committed is not enough. He says we have to love God with all our hearts, soul, strength and mind, and love our neighbors as ourselves. Those are surely high bars of commitment!

Luke is the only Gospel source for the parable of the Good Samaritan. Notice that Jesus tells the parable in response to the question, “Who qualifies for me to love them as much as I love myself?” It is ironic that the expert in the law asked that question to Jesus, since surely Jesus would ask himself that very question on many occasions since the beginning of time. Think of the parable in that context and you may think of Jesus in a new way.