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Character Study: John Son of Zebedee in the Synoptic Gospels - Essay Example

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John , Son of Zebedee, in the Gospels Introduction The New Testament includes three men named John. There is John son of Zachariah and Elizabeth, cousin once removed to Jesus, and most often known as John the Baptist, as in Matthew Chapter 3 where his mission in the desert is recorded…
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Character Study: John Son of Zebedee in the Synoptic Gospels
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Character Study: John Son of Zebedee in the Synoptic Gospels

Our study is about a third John, John, brother of James, the son of Zebedee, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, and the person many think is the author of the fourth Gospel, as well as the three letters which bear his name, and the book of Revelation . ? John, a Judean Jew, was the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21)and brother to James. He was probably James’ younger brother as they are always listed as ‘James and John’. If Mark 15 v 40-41 and John 19 v 25 are compared it could be assumed that Salome, a women follower, was mother to James and John and also sister to Mary, mother of Jesus, which would make the brothers his cousin. His mother had certainly followed Jesus from Galilee in order to care for his needs ( Matthew 27 v 56). On the cross Jesus is therefore asking John to take Mary into her sister’s home, a very natural thing to do. Also, since Jesus and John the Baptist were also cousins, this would also make him a cousin to John the Baptist, whose mother, Elizabeth, was a close relative of Jesus' mother (Luke 1:36). Lea and Black state ( 2003, page 8 ) that the New Testament is a theological history. That doesn’t mean that it is not historically accurate, but only that it interprets matters from a theological point of view, so when we read John did this or that this is likely to be correct. Mark 1: 16-20 is a passage explaining the call of the two brothers James and John. Matthew They were from Capernaum, a fishing port not too far from Jesus’s family home in Nazareth, less than 30 miles away. We don’t know if they knew him beforehand, but it could be that he had at least seen them before, or even that they were already friends. Mark 1 v16- 18 records the call of two other brothers, Peter and Andrew who were told ‘Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’( Bible New International Version (2008) . They responded immediately we are told, just leaving their nets where they were. A little further on Jesus meets the Zebedee brothers, James and John, this time together with their father and some hired men. Again the response is immediate. Did they know what they were getting into? Did they perhaps think this was only a short term arrangement? Jesus calls both brothers after having called Simon and Andrew to become his disciples. They did not hesitate and followed him at once leaving their fishing nets. This was at the time of the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, after his baptism. At this early stage were they aware of Jesus’s spiritual authority? Mark reports their call as being immediately before the visit to the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus began to teach the people, who we are told were astonished by his authority. In Mark 3 v 17 we have the appointment of the twelve to be with him. Matthew Henry (1706) makes the comment that first Jesus goes up a mountain,. Something he did in order to pray , and reminds us that ministers must be set aside after much prayer. Sometimes it is said that they followed him because they had already heard John the Baptist preaching about the coming Messiah, but John was preaching much further south. Would they have heard him? In Luke’s gospel ( 4 v 14) we are told that after his baptism and the temptations in the desert, ‘Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit’(Bible , N.I.V.) and news about him spread throughout the whole region and also how he declared( Luke 4 v 18) ‘ ... Read More
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