With Peter at the Tomb
On Easter morning when the women who went to the tomb to finish anointing the body of Jesus returned with the astonishing news that he was not there, John ran with Peter to the garden and found it to be true.
In the days that followed, the beloved disciple saw Jesus and spoke and ate with him. He had seen the wonders Jesus did before his death, but God had worked no wonder like this before.
Filled with new graces by the Holy Spirit, the two disciples who discovered the empty tomb became two apostles of Christ's resurrection. Peter and John together spoke of him everywhere in Jerusalem and became pillars of his church.
Jerusalem and Samaria
Not long after the resurrection, their enthusiastic preaching about Jesus and their miraculous cure of a crippled beggar in the temple area quickly brought them into conflict with the same Jewish leaders who had persecuted Jesus. They were called before the Sanhedrin which had assembled together to rebuke and threaten them.
"It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard," the two apostles said in reply to their warnings.
In their early ministry in Palestine, John went with Peter to some villages in Samaria to strengthen the spirits of those who had heard about Jesus and believed in him through the preaching of the deacon Philip. Doré imagines Peter and John at Samaria
Then, perhaps around the year 48, tradition says John went to Ephesus in Asia Minor where for many years he guided that church by his preaching and inspired the great writings that bear his name.
Through the remaining years of his life, John's mind constantly turned to the one he began to follow at the Jordan, ever seeking to understand him and searching for words to describe him. From the ancient law he loved from his youth - Moses and the prophets - he gathered whatever he could, for Jesus had said they spoke of him.
Like an eagle, his spirit soared into the great mystery of Jesus whom he would call the Word made flesh, the Lamb of God, the Light of the world, the Bread of life.
Yet one tradition says that as an old man this great apostle repeated one simple phrase over and over. It was a favorite saying of Jesus: "My little children, love one another."
John the son of Zebedee, the "disciple Jesus loved," lived on till an old age, some say 90 years, and was the last apostle to die.
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