St John the Apostle

The Apostle John was also called Saint John the Evangelist or Saint John the Divine. In Christian tradition, he was known as the author of three  letters, the Fourth Gospel, and the Revelation in the New Testament and he played a leading role in the early church at Jerusalem.  He also had the distinction of being a   beloved friend of Jesus Christ.

John and his brother James, another disciple of Jesus (not James, the brother of Jesus), were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee (and lived in Capernaum) when Jesus called them to follow him. They later became part of Christ's inner circle, along with the Apostle Peter. These three were privileged to be with Jesus at the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead, at the transfiguration, and during Jesus' agony in Gethsemane. On one occasion, when a Samaritan village rejected Jesus, James and John asked if they should call down fire from heaven to destroy the place. That earned them the nickname Boanerges, or "sons of thunder."

John served the church in Jerusalem for many years, then moved to work in the church at Ephesus. He was then exiled to the island of Patmos. John supposedly outlived all of the disciples, dying of old age at Ephesus, perhaps about A.D. 98.

John's Gospel is strikingly different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the three Synoptic Gospels, which means "seen with the same eye" or from the same viewpoint. John continually emphasizes that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, sent by the Father to take away the sins of the world. He uses many symbolic titles for Jesus, such as the Lamb of God, resurrection, and the vine. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus uses the phrase "I am," unmistakably identifying himself with Jehovah, the Great "I AM" or eternal God.

Although John does not mention himself by name in his own gospel, he refers to himself four times as "the disciple Jesus loved."

John the Apostle's Strengths:

John was especially loyal to Jesus. He was the only one of the 12 apostles present at the cross. After Pentecost, John teamed up with Peter to fearlessly preach the gospel in Jerusalem and suffered beatings and imprisonment for it. Because John experienced the unconditional love of Jesus firsthand, he preached that love in his gospel and letters.

John the Apostle's Weaknesses:

At times, John did not understand Jesus' message of forgiveness, as seen when he asked to call fire down upon unbelievers. He also asked for a favoured position in Jesus' kingdom.

Life Lessons from John the Apostle:

Christ is the Saviour who offers every person eternal life. If we follow Jesus, we are assured of forgiveness and salvation. As Christ loves us, we are to love others. God is love, and we, as Christians, are to be channels of God's love to our neighbours.

Referenced in the Bible:  John is mentioned in the four Gospels, the book of Acts, and as the narrator of Revelation.

Occupation:  Fisherman, disciple of Jesus, evangelist, Scripture author.

Family Tree:  Father - Zebedee,  Mother - Salome,  Brother - James

Key Verses:

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (NIV)

1 John 4:16-17
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (NIV)

Revelation 22:12-13
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."(NIV)

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