Why has Peter reminded us of [John’s] reclining? Not without cause or by chance but to show us what boldness Peter had after the denial. For he who then did not dare to question Jesus but turned this task over to another was now entrusted with the chief authority over the brothers. And not only does he not commit to another what relates to himself, but he himself now puts a question to his Master concerning another. John is silent, but Peter speaks. He also shows here the love that he had toward him. For Peter greatly loved John, as is clear from what followed, and their close union is shown both throughout the Gospel and also in the Acts. When therefore Christ had foretold great things of Peter and committed the world to his care and had foretold his martyrdom and testified that his love was greater than that of the others, desiring to have John also to share in this with him, he said, “And what shall this man do? Shall he not travel the same road with us?” On that other occasion, because he is not able himself to ask the question, he put John forward. Similarly, now desiring to return the favor and supposing that John would want to ask about matters pertaining to himself but lacked the courage, he himself undertook the questioning.1
For in saying, “I want him to remain till I come,” we are not to understand that John was supposed to remain on earth, or to abide permanently, but he was, rather, to wait. Therefore, what is signified by John shall certainly not be fulfilled now, but when Christ comes.[/note]TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 124.5. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 394). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.[/note]
As regards the Gospel of John, though, this is what I think is meant: that Peter wrote about the Lord, others too wrote; but their writing was more concerned with the Lord’s humanity.… But while there is something about the divinity of Christ in Peter’s letters, in John’s gospel it is very much to the fore.… He soared above the clouds and soared above the stars, soared above the angels, soared above every creature and arrived at the Word through which all things were made.2
THEODORE OF MOPSUESTIA:
Peter turned to the secret decision of providence and saw from a distance the disciple John, son of thunder, who followed slowly, admiring the great and sublime promise made by our Lord to Peter.… Since John lived long, that is, seventy-three years after the ascension of the Lord to the time of Trajan, and died after all the other apostles in peace and serenity by natural death, the Lord alludes to this by saying, If I want him to live long enough so that he may remain until my return, you do not need to investigate this. Only pay attention to what is yours, that is, take care of your work and follow me.3
- HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 88.2. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 394). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- SERMON 253.5. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 395). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- COMMENTARY ON JOHN 7.21.20–23. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 396). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.