2013-10-05 - The Fourth Disciple ~ John
The Disciples Series ~ Part 4
Today, we look at the third member of Jesus' inner circle -- The Apostle John. His name comes from the Greek form of the Hebrew word "Yohanan" which means "God is gracious." John referred to himself as "the Disciple whom Jesus loved." John, a fisherman by trade, was the son of Zebedee and brother of the Disciple James, whom we looked at last week. John was called to follow Jesus, while he was fishing with his father and brother.
As part of Jesus' inner circle, along with Peter and James, John was present for the Transfiguration and Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like James, John wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan village when its inhabitants refused to receive Jesus and the Disciples. (Luke 9:52-54) As a result, Jesus called James and John "the sons of thunder." John was one of the two Disciples who Jesus sent ahead to prepare the Passover meal. (Luke 22:8)
After Jesus' death, Resurrection, and Ascension, John was one of the pillars of the early church. He served in Jerusalem for many years, before moving to Ephesus to work in the church there. John, a prolific author, wrote the Gospel of John, three Letters (1st, 2nd, and 3rd John), and Revelation.
John had numerous strengths. As part of the inner circle, John was very loyal to Jesus. John suffered for the Gospel. He was persecuted, beaten and imprisoned. Obviously John was a good writer, as he wrote five books of the Bible.
John supposedly outlived the other Disciples. Legend says that he was taken to Rome for persecution, and thrown into a vat of boiling oil. He survived and was exiled to the island of Patmos. John wrote the Gospel of John in 85 to 90 A.D. in Ephesus, where he died of old age. He was the only Disciple who did not die a martyr, except for Judas Iscariot.
Series to be continued.
Richard Moser, Jr