John The Beloved
“And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” (Mark 1:19-20, ESV)
John the beloved lived a life customary of that of a Christian. He suffered greatly, but was also blessed in his ministry. John began his spiritual journey on a harbor in Galilee and finished his journey in Ephesus, the same place that was written to by Paul in the book Ephesians. It is believed that John was one of the youngest disciples, and that he was also one of the disciples that was the closest to Jesus. John wrote five of the sixty-six books of the bible. He wrote one gospel, the epistles, and Revelation, the book of the bible describes the full glory of Jesus and things that are to come. John the beloved was the first living man to see Jesus both fully crucified, and fully basking in heavenly glory. In essence, John lived a full life.
John the Disciple
John’s gospel is unique. John places a great deal of emphasis on the personality and feelings of Jesus. John includes narratives such as the “wine into water” miracle that is not found in any other gospel. John’s relationship to Jesus is one of friendship. This gave him a unique view into what Jesus felt and why He reacted how He did.
John learned a lot from Jesus. He passed out bread and fishes that had miraculously been multiplied to feed the multitudes. He saw Jairus’s daughter raised from the dead. He feel asleep in the garden of Gethsemane. While it cannot be proven by scripture, most biblical scholars agree that John was one of the disciples who went to check the empty tomb. John was instructed by Jesus, led by Jesus, and loved on by Jesus.
John’s book emphasis love between believers. On top of correcting different churches doctrine, John also emphasized that a community of believers was essential to a Christian’s spiritual prosperity. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John all emphasize different themes of Christian community.
The last book that John was inspired to write told the end of the story. Revelation is a prophecy about how the story of humanity will end. John was the very first living man to see Jesus in all of His glory. John saw the beast, the angels, the saints singing and praising the Lord. He saw all that would happen, and that in the end, how all the believers would go to be with the Lord.
What does your relationship with Jesus look like?
John enjoyed physical community and interaction with Jesus Christ. To John Jesus was the Savior, but He was also a compassionate and loving friend. John and Jesus ate together, walked together, joked together, and worked together. John served the Lord Jesus Christ, but he also played and hung out with Jesus. A funny, if not extremely corny, Youtube video is “Jesus Is My Friend.” This entire song is dedicated to the fact that Jesus is my friend, and that I have a friend in Jesus.
Is Jesus your friend, or is He a tyrant that you fear will strike you with a lightening bolt the next time you sin? Friends rarely, if ever, strike friends with lightening bolts. As John has recorded, there is an eternity of suffering awaiting those who do not repent of their sins. The people who do not repent are not friends of Jesus. They are His sworn enemies. Yet, those who repent of their sins become friends of Jesus, and while they should respect His power, they should not fear that He will smite them from the face of the earth.
Jesus wants to see you grow in your faith. He will instruct you like a good friend will. He will encourage you when you are weak, but discipline you when you do not recognize your error. John got this level of personal treatment physically, but we today experience that level of friendship through the Holy Spirit.
- Godly Wisdom in Decision-Making Process, Part 2
- Jesus and Humilitation
- Observations on Romans 7:13-25
- Christ Stops Our Swing from Tradition to Tradition
- Hallowed Be Thy Name
- The Roman Centurion: An Admirable Faith
- Walking Upright
- Our Father Who Is In Heaven
- Psalm 2: The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed