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Mark 5:37

ESV And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
NIV He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
NASB And He allowed no one to accompany Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.
CSB He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James's brother.
NLT Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James).
KJV And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

What does Mark 5:37 mean?

Peter, James, and John are three of Jesus' first four disciples, along with Peter's brother Andrew. These three men are also the followers Jesus spends the most time with. They are the only disciples to see Jesus' transfiguration (Mark 9:2–9). They are the ones whom Jesus called to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32–42). And they are the only disciples with nicknames (Mark 3:16–17).

James, the brother of John, is the only one of the Twelve to have his death recorded in the Bible. Acts 12:1–2 says that King Herod had him killed with a sword. This Herod is Herod Agrippa I who ruled a reunited territory once divided into four by the Tetrarchs. He was king in AD 41—44. He was the grandson of Herod the Great, noted for killing the baby boys in Bethlehem after Jesus' birth. Agrippa I was also the brother of Herodias, who demanded John the Baptist's head on a platter in Mark 6:21–29. God later struck Herod Agrippa I, who was eaten by worms (Acts 12:23). The Agrippa who met with Paul (Acts 25:13) was Agrippa I's son.

James had a very short career as an apostle. He died about ten years after Jesus' death, and there's no indication he ever left Jerusalem for a missions trip; although some claim he traveled to Spain, there is no hard evidence. Other references to "James" in Acts refer to Jesus' half-brother, the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and author of the book of James.

Peter and John went on to become two of the most significant figures in the early church. Where once Peter had denied Christ (Matthew 26:70–74), after Jesus' ascension Peter became a powerful preacher at Pentecost (Acts 2:14–41), later on the temple mount (Acts 3:11–26), and also in front of the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1–22). He both performed miracles (Acts 3:1–10; 9:36–43) and benefited from them (Acts 5:17–42; 12:6–19). Peter also wrote the letters of 1 and 2 Peter in the New Testament and is believed to be the source for the Gospel of Mark. Peter did struggle in accepting that Gentiles could be saved. Despite receiving both an object lesson and a personal example (Acts 10—11), Paul still had to scold him for clinging to Jewish traditions over Christian brotherhood (Galatians 2:11–14). Even so, Peter is a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9). Jesus suggested he would die a martyr (John 21:18–19) and church tradition claims he was crucified upside-down, next to his wife.

The apostle John was a prolific New Testament writer, surpassed only by Paul and Luke. He is often confused with Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, and the author of the Gospel of Mark, John-Mark. During his time with Jesus, John was known for being somewhat possessive. He criticized a man for casting out demons in Jesus' name (Mark 9:38–41) and, with his brother James, asked for places of honor in Jesus' kingdom (Matthew 20:20–24). His Gospel is the most theological of the four. His epistles are a mix of theology and very practical instruction. And his book of Revelation gives detail and context to Daniel's seventieth week. He was the longest-lived of the apostles. After discipling the early church leader Polycarp, John died of old age in modern-day Turkey.

Jesus allowed only these three and the girl's parents to see the miraculous healing. Although the quantity may have been limited by the size of the room, Jesus chose the people very specifically. Jesus could have performed the healing with just the parents, but He wanted His future leaders to see. Jesus' relationship with Peter, James, and John led to the Christian leadership philosophy of teaching many, discipling a few, and mentoring a handful.
What is the Gospel?
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