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The Greatest Men of the Bible (4 of 15)
John-That Disciple Whom Jesus Loved
Clarence E. Macartney
A friend of Sir Philip Sidney, a friend who died on
the field of Zutphen after uttering his famous
sentence, "Thy need is greater than mine," desired
that the following epitaph be placed on his grave:
Here lies Sir Philip Sidney's friend.
John, too, chose and wrote his own epitaph, and here
it is-than which a greater has never been written-
"That disciple whom Jesus loved."
There are times when I am certain that Paul is the
greatest character in Christian history. When I think
of his dramatic conversion at Damascus and how the
chief enemy of Christ became his greatest friend; when
I think of his extraordinary sacrifices and hardships
and sufferings by land and by sea; when I think of the
remarkable combination of intellect and emotion and
organizing ability; when I remember his grand
statements of Christian truth and life and how the
greater part of the New Testament came from his pen, I
feel certain that Paul is the greatest Christian
At other times I wonder if Peter is not the greatest
Christian. When I remember how Christ told him, when
He called him, that his name would be Peter, "The
Rock"; when I recall how Christ spoke to him more
often than to any other apostle, how Christ answered
his numerous questions, how He praised him, rebuked
him, prayed over him, warned him, gave him a special
resurrection message and appearance, and when He
restored him gave him a special commission to "Feed my
sheep"; and when I see the place that Peter takes in
the establishment of the Christian church, I conclude
that Peter must be the greatest Christian personality.
But I have other moods when I conclude that John is
the greatest Christian character. When I read those
deep, opening sentences of his gospel, "In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word w ...
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