John and his brother, James were disciples of John, the Baptist. They were fishermen, like many of the other apostles and the sons of Zebedee and Salome. They made their living fishing on the sea of Galilee as did their father, who was probably a man of means.
These two were among the first disciples Jesus called to follow Him. Jesus referred to James and John as the Sons of Thunder or Boanerges. This did not mean they were wild or outspoken. Both brothers were usually calm and peaceful, but they sometimes allowed their voices to become like an untamed storm, as was indicated in the Gospel story which indicates the brothers wanted to call down heavenly fire on a Samaritan town, but Jesus rebuked them for it.
John was the only disciple to die a natural death. Judas, Iscariot died by taking his own life and the rest died as martyrs. John was the disciple to witness Jesus’ crucifixion as he escorted Mary to be at her Son’s side as He suffered and died. He was the one that Jesus asked to take care of His mother after His death. He was often called the one Jesus loved. I think their friendship was much like that of King David and Saul’s son, Jonathan. He was also a cousin of Jesus.
He faithfully followed Jesus throughout His ministry. He continued to spread the good news of the Gospel when Jesus gave the Great Commission and the fire of the Holy Spirit rested on His head at Pentecost. He may have been witness to some of his fellow apostles’ deaths. He continued on even in spite of the threat of his own death. When exiled to Patmos, he became witness to the end times in a vision provided him, by God Himself. He wrote it all down in the book of Revelation by inspiration from God, so that we could see what heaven will be like and how to be ready for it at any moment.
As I grow older, thoughts of heaven are more and more on my mind. We have lost many friends recently and our own aging bodies are showing signs of slowing down. We don’t know the hour or the day, but we do know, because of that precious, inspired Word of God, that we will receive all the benefits of the inheritance Jesus provided for us.
John was willing to risk His life to share the Gospel with as many as he could. Why are we sometimes afraid to invite others to share in that wonderful news? By doing so, we’re joining with other disciples for Christ and fulfilling what He asked us to do. Go tell someone today, how Jesus love has healing and blessing waiting for them too. The world is hungry for some good news and we have it!
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants, the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”