Jesus, God Man

Jesus working with Saint Joseph

In the very first chapter of his Gospel, the apostle John tells us nearly everything we need to know about Jesus, the God Man.

To avoid confusion: We are speaking here primarily of the Apostle John, not John the Baptist. The Baptist was a prophet and the cousin of Jesus, six months his senior. King Herod beheaded John the Baptist a short time after the baptism of our Lord.

The Baptist is a primary figure in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, so people often get the two mixed up. The Apostle John, known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, became the last of the Apostles, the sole survivor, elder “churchman” and the world’s only remaining eyewitness for Christ.

He spoke of his closest friend, a marvelous, Spirit-filled man who was God Himself, come down from heaven in the flesh, to save mankind: Jesus, the Lamb, the risen Christ. John spoke also of their mother, Mary. After all, it was Jesus Himself, who, moments before He died, entrusted His mother to John’s care (and empowered His mother to care for all of us.)

John 19:25 – 27  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Many who heard him believed. John was powerful in the Holy Spirit.

The Romans didn’t like what he preached, so they tried to kill him by boiling him in oil, but John emerged from the ordeal unharmed. Not willing to risk the public embarrassment of another failed execution, they sent him into exile on the Aegean island of Patmos. From his meager base there, John worked tirelessly to share his unique, personal knowledge of Jesus with the budding Church.

One of the original Twelve (the only one with the courage to stand at the foot of the cross) and a Bishop personally ordained by Jesus, John’s authority and credentials were unquestionable. Those who were able would come to visit from all over the known world. Wouldn’t you?

The Epistles of St. Ignatius tell us much about what John’s friend and disciple, St. Polycarp, learned at John’s side. The Church (then, already known as “Catholic”) benefited immensely from these living links with the last Apostle.

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