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Jesus selected Peter, James, and John as key representatives among his disciples. They shared several significant commonalities:
– They were all part of the twelve apostles who followed Jesus full-time.
– They were fishermen by trade and belonged to Jesus’ inner circle, chosen among the elect.
– These three were privileged to accompany Jesus during pivotal moments: witnessing the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mk 5:37), the Transfiguration (Mk 9:2), and the agony in Gethsemane (Mk 14:33).
– All wrote epistles, and John authored the fourth gospel.


Peter demonstrated unique features and took various initiatives during his time with Jesus:
1. Peter offered his home for Jesus’ stay in Capernaum (Mt 8:14-17).
2. Jesus used Peter’s boat to teach crowds (Lk 5:3).
3. Peter sought to walk on water like Jesus (Mt 14:28).
4. He requested explanations of Jesus’ parables (Mt 15:15).
5. Peter professed Jesus as the Messiah (Mt 16:16).
6. Jesus renamed him Peter, symbolizing his role (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).
7. He rebuked Jesus about His foretold suffering (Mt 16:22).
8. Jesus appointed Peter as the head of His Church (Mt 16:18-19).
9. Peter was identified by temple tax collectors as the apostles’ leader (Mt 17:24).
10. He inquired about the limits of forgiveness (Mt 18:21).
11. Peter resisted Jesus washing his feet at the Last Supper (Jn 13:6).
12. He cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave during Jesus’ arrest (Jn 18:10).
13. The disciples respected Peter’s leadership (Jn 21:3).
14. Peter jumped into the water to approach Jesus upon recognizing Him (Jn 21:7).
15. He helped bring in a catch of fish (Jn 21:10-11).
16. Jesus allowed Peter to affirm his love three times, countering his denials (Jn 21:15-19).
17. Jesus predicted Peter’s martyrdom (Jn 21:19).
18. Peter’s name is consistently listed first among the apostles (Mt 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13).


John had distinct traits and actions:
1. He was a disciple of John the Baptist before following Jesus (Jn 1:35-39).
2. John was the youngest apostle.
3. He reported unauthorized exorcism in Jesus’ name (Mk 9:38; Lk 9:49).
4. John reclined upon Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper (Jn 13:23; 21:20).
5. The Bible highlights Jesus’ special love for John (Jn 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7; 21:20).
6. John had connections with the high priest (Jn 18:16).
7. He was the only disciple at the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion (Jn 19:26).
8. Jesus entrusted His mother to John (Jn 19:26-27).
9. John took Mary into his home (Jn 19:27).
10. He reached the empty tomb first but let Peter enter (Jn 20:3-8).


Peter and John often collaborated:
1. They likely retrieved the donkey for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1-7; Mk 11:1-7; Lk 19:28-35).
2. They prepared the Passover meal (Lk 22:7-13).
3. Peter asked John to identify Jesus’ betrayer (Jn 13:21-25).
4. They entered the courtyard during Jesus’ trial (Jn 18:15-16).
5. They visited Jesus’ empty tomb (Jn 20:1-10).
6. John identified the risen Jesus, prompting Peter to swim to Him (Jn 21:7).
7. Peter asked Jesus about John’s future (Jn 21:21).


James and John, the “sons of Zebedee,” had several commonalities:
1. They were brothers, sons of Zebedee and Salome (Mk 10:35).
2. They immediately followed Jesus upon His call (Mt 4:21-22; Mk 1:19-20).
3. Jesus nicknamed them “Boanerges,” or “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17), possibly due to their zeal.
4. They requested positions of honor in Jesus’ glory (Mk 10:37-39).
5. They were likely Jesus’ cousins, with their mother Salome being Mary’s sister (Mt 20:20-21).
6. They suggested calling down fire to an unwelcoming Samaritan village (Lk 9:54).


Jesus chose these three apostles to witness significant events because the Law required two or three witnesses for verification (Deut 17:6; 19:15). Their experiences were meant to sustain their faith during trials, like Jesus’ agony in the garden and the crucifixion. Jesus took Peter to affirm his role as the Church’s leader and to strengthen his faith in the glorious future. James and John were selected to remember the heavenly glory amidst their ministry’s challenges, with James being the first martyr and John the last to die.


The lives of Peter, James, and John offer profound lessons for us today. Their transformation from humble fishermen to foundational pillars of the early Church showcases the transformative power of Jesus’ call. Despite their flaws, Jesus chose them for significant roles, emphasizing that He values willingness and faith over perfection.

Key Takeaways from their life are:
– Faith and Obedience: Like Peter, we are called to step out in faith, even when it seems impossible, trusting Jesus to sustain us.
– Zeal with Wisdom: James and John’s zeal needed guidance from Jesus, teaching us that our passion for Christ should be tempered with love and understanding.
– Intimate Relationship with Jesus: John’s closeness with Jesus encourages us to seek a deeper, more personal relationship with our Savior.

Just as Peter, James, and John were privileged to witness Jesus’ glory and share in His suffering, we too are invited into a close relationship with Him. Our role is to remain faithful, seek His presence, and trust that He equips us for every good work. Let us, therefore, draw near to Jesus, learning from these apostles’ lives, and strive to live out our faith with courage, zeal, and a deep, abiding love for our Lord. May we be inspired by their example to be witnesses of Jesus’ truth, bearing His light in a world in need of His grace and truth.

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