Apostle John - the beloved Gay companion and lover of Jesus
John the Apostle ( the Lord is merciful in Hebrew) was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, the author of the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, and the book of Revelation. Born son of Zebedee, and brother of James, John was originally a fisherman, a discple of John the Baptist and later became a discple of Jesus. John was the only discple that remained with jesus at the cross of calvary. He was finally banished to the greek island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation. The Gospel of John was perhaps the last of the gospels to be written, around 90 to 100 AD after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 focussing more peculiarity on the concept of the Trinity and Jesus's theological pre-eminence.
Apostle John was a key leader of the early church. He is always mentioned in the first four in the lists of the twelve (Matt. 10:2; Mark 3:17; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). John is also among the "inner three" who were with Jesus on special occasions in the Synoptic Gospels: the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37), the transfiguration (Mark 9:2), and the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33). Andrew joined these three when they asked Jesus about the signs of the coming destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13:3).
How was John like as a person? In his gospel, John referred himself as the the disciple whom Jesus loved on a total of 5 occasions.
This is a picture of a very close relationship with Jesus - leaning on Jesus' bosom!, one resting in Jesus, not doing any work in particular to gain Jesus' attention or friendship, but just resting and enjoying Jesus' company. It is as though John was so close to Jesus that he went everywhere that Jesus went, and where Jesus was, you would find John at His side. It is as though Jesus loved John especially and John welcomed and appreciated this love. This is a picture of a beautiful relationship, between couples, between best of friends that their souls intertwined and John perhaps understood Jesus more intimately than any of the discples. At the end of His life, who else but John, His closest disciple, His lover, would Jesus gave Mary, His mother to be taken care of. (John 19:27).
John was a very gentle, humble, quiet person, deep in thought in contrast to Peter. When Jesus appeared at the beach after His resurrection, it was John who first recognized Jesus from afar saying "It is the Lord" (John 21:7), whereas Peter reaction displayed agressive passion as he swam to the shore to meet Jesus. As the church grew, in Acts, John went out together with Peter in many of the early missions work (Now ... Peter and John .... Acts 3:1 etc) with Peter taking the lead, and John his companion in a supporting role. Persecution soon came in Acts 12 when King Herod killing James the brother of John and putting Peter in prison. Therafter, we seldom see John. However, John was still very much in the leadership with Peter as evident in the First Council of Jerusalem in AD 50 (Gal 2:9). Despite having an Apostolic mantle, John was so humble and gracious, and referred to himself only as "the elder" (2 John 1, 3 John 1). He did not claim the authority to command the church to follow his instructions. Instead, he reasoned with them.
The exact dates of John's writings is unknown, but what is generally agreed was that he wrote it when he was in his old age. Perhaps John wrote during his time in exile in the island of Patmos in the Agean Sea when he knew his time was near, and where he came came back to more than 60 years earlier when he remembered the sweet gentile voice of Jesus and that that bosom which he leaned on. And now He would soon see Jesus face to face again. But this was not soon enough for John, and as John's heart, soul and spirit rose to the heavens in anticipation, he saw into the realm of the spirit and was given a tour of heaven, a revelation of Jesus Chirst in His heavenly splendour. He saw what none of the Apostles did because he was very sensitive and thoughtful to the spiritual realm, and was his nature to be quiet, in deep contemplation, and to listen, and rest to receive the things of God, to receive Jesus. John lived to more than 100 years. With his death, also marked the last witness to Jesus death on the cross.
According to tradition, Apostle John never married unlike the other disciples. Perhaps, John was never attracted to women. Could he be Gay? and Jesus was his lover, not in a sexual sense but as a companion and a true friend. Being Gay means having a same sex attraction, it does not necesarrily mean having sex with the same sex, an action which could be done by a straight or Gay person. It takes a Gay person to be so sensitive, to see beyond the obvious to the spiritual and what is unsaid, to appreciate Jesus, to become His closest companion on earth.
Was Jesus Gay? there is no clear evidence that Jesus was attracted primarily to the same sex. Neither was he straight. There is even lesser evidence indicating that Jesus was attracted primarily to the opposite sex. Was Jesus a-sexual? I do not think so. Jesus was exposed the same temptations as each one of one whether Gay or Straight. But He knew His calling and purpose to die young for us and being in a sexual relationship was not in His agenda despite tempted both heterosexualy and homosexualy. Jesus saw men and women far beyond their sexual orientation. He treasured the close friendship he had with John and ocassionaly with Mary and Martha, and Peter and accepted each of their personality and orientation as they were.
Today, the sounds of heaven is ringing, the Lord is coming back, Jesus is coming back. He is coming back for you and me. He is coming back for His companions, His friends, people who knows Him and walked within on this earth (in the Spirit), sensitive to His voice always resting in God.
As a Gay Christian, today I am so proud that John, a Gay man was probably Jesus closest companions whilst he was here on earth. It was not the religious zealots (they have many descendents in the mainstream churches) who were His enemies. It was not those who cried for judgement, but those who knew God's heart, His desire for mercy and grace.
May I be like Apostle John, to be known, and be a companion of Jesus, to chose to spent time with God because He is my lover. Jesus is calling Gay Christians to look beyond just having sex but to go beyond to treasure relationship with each other, to spend time in prayer and reflection with Jesus, and to built upon the giftings unique to the Gay community in the artistic and spiritual realm. Let us see people beyond their orientation but to see Christ in them, the Hope of Glory.
Father God. May every Gay Christian in Singapore, learnt to rest on Jesus just as Apostle John did, not to strive unneccessarily to demand justice and equality, but to just rest and to pray knowing that You will fight for us and that the battle belongs to God. At the end, it is our companionship with Jesus that really matters. Just like John, let us rest on Jesus bosom. Father God, help me to treasure the Gay Christian friends that you have put in my paths that I may treasure them as unique prople dearly loved by you and that I may be a blessing and a true companion just as you have been in my life.