John is one of the three disciples with an intimate relationship to Jesus. Together with Simon Peter and James, John accompanies Jesus onto the mountain when Jesus is transfigured. Peter, James and John are called aside by Jesus when Jesus goes way from the disciples to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter, James and John do not yet have the capacity to remain conscious to bear witness as apostles and fall asleep.
In being assigned tasks by the Christ who says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, it may be viewed that John is given the task of revealing the truth. This truth comes to us in John’s Gospel, his Epistles and the Book of Revelation.
In John we encounter a great mystery. Rudolf Steiner introduces us to a community of John. John the writer of the Book of Revelation is not John the Younger, the brother of James. The writer of Revelation is Lazarus who rose after a three-day temple sleep. The being of John the Baptist remains with all that is unfolding around Jesus and pours himself into John Lazarus. John Lazarus is the last human being to go through the ancient initiation process and he is the first human being to receive the Christian initiation that makes it possible for him to receive a revelation of the spiritual world in full consciousness. It may be possible for us to imagine that this community of John also includes the life-forces of the young disciple called John.
Whereas, when we look at Simon Peter, we encounter one person on a journey of development, when we look at John, we realise he is a community of persons.
John Lazarus dies of old age according to Christian tradition; he does not die a martyr’s death as do most of the other Apostles.
John is associated with the fourth stone of the foundation of the New Jerusalem, emerald. Rudolf Steiner describes this stone as carrying the moral quality of green. Emerald is given its green colour by the impurity of chromium within the silicate structure. Emerald is connected with Sagittarius the centaur who is an archer. The arrow of the archer is pointed at the heart of Scorpio, which is connected with John the Evangelist. The soul quality connected with emerald is the control of thought. This soul quality must be transformed into the spiritual quality for a feeling for truth.
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