The disciple Jesus loved refers tos John, elder son of Zebedee, brother of James, with whom he was called “Sons of Thunder” or “Boanerges”).
The author of the Gospel of John mentions himself 5 times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in his gospel.
1. “One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side,” (John 13:23)2. “So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:25-27)
3. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (John 20:1-2)
4. “That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.” (John 21:7)5. “20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” (John 21:20)
Also, a 6th identification with the disciple Jesus loved as the author comes in the “this” of v.24 6. 24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
6. 24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.