And there were of John’s disciples who followed after Yeshua, Andrew Bar Jonas, the
brother of Simon; John Bar Zebedee, the brother of James; Philip of Bethsaida, the
son of Jabesh the fisherman; and James Ben Alpheus, the brother of Levi.
Summary: John Bar Zebedee, along with his brother James, shared a family fishing
business with Andrew and Simon Bar Jonas. The four of them were among the disciples
of John the Baptizer who later became followers of Yeshua (Y:3:20-24). The brothers
abandoned their fishing business to follow Yeshua after the miraculous event in which
the brothers — having been fishing unsuccessfully “all the night long” — were invited
by Yeshua to cast their nets into the sea, rightly predicting they would catch a
multitude of fish (Y:6:57-69).
When John’s father, Zebedee, heard that his sons had quit the family business, he
confronted Yeshua and accused him of stealing his sons. Witnessing his father leave
the encounter visibly upset, John asked Yeshua if he should wait to join the ministry
until after the death of his father. Yeshua’s response convinced John to remain with
the ministry (Y:7:44-64).
John became one of Yeshua’s closest disciples. He, along with James and Simon (Cephas),
were appointed to lead the twelve apostles chosen by Yeshua (Y:18:1-3). John was
also among the few to witness the transfiguration of Yeshua on Mount Tabor (Y:19:2-10).
As a note of interest: John Bar Zebedee was not the ‘John’ whom the crucified Yeshua
appointed to look after his mother Miriam. John, the son of Levi, was given this
Other references to John Bar Zebedee include the following:
• Yeshua rebuked John for being offended that someone apart from the ministry was
casting out devils in Yeshua’s name (Y:27:68-73).
• Cephas, James and John went to Jerusalem to secure and prepare the location of
the final Passover meal (Y:45:15-18).
• Cephas, James and John accompanied Yeshua to the Garden of Gethsemane (Y:46:1-3).
Yeshua found them sleeping when Judas arrived with the temple guards (Y:46:33-36).
• John was among the group of disciples who took part in the second miraculous fishing
event wrought by the resurrected Yeshua (Y:48:3-12).
68. And John, hearing these things, drew near unto the Lord and spoke unto him, saying:
69. “Good Master, we which were appointed saw some other casting out devils in your
name, yet would he not follow after us.
70. And when we forbid him this thing, yet would he pay no heed, but continued as
71. But Yeshua rebuked John, saying: “Why are you offended, for who are you that
you should forbid another the doing of some good in my name?
72. Forbid him not: for there is no man which can do a miracle in my name which can
lightly speak evil of me.
73. For he that is not against us is for us, and he that is not with me is against
me; and whosoever gathers not, the same scattereth abroad. Come now, and let us go