Today I will write about a great man in the bible who faithfully served the Lord. I know him as the Apostle John. He is considered as the writer of a lot of New Testament books. They are the Gospel of John, Revelation, and the three books of John I, John 2, and John 3. I will use as a text today events of his later life.
John is considered the Apostle that outlived the other 12. We read of him in Revelation 1:9-10. "I John who am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle of Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Christ. I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet."
During the time of one of the Herods, John was arrested for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jews were under the power of Rome and the Jews made it hard on the new people called Christians. His opposition to the Christian movement may have largely been caused by the more numerous Jews than Christians. But we could consider the gospel preachers also spoke against the sins of the government as well. So the emperor of Rome deported him out of the mainland and sent him to a little island in the mouth of the Aegean Sea. He was still in the confines of Rome but in such an insignificant place he was not in a place to cause too much trouble to Rome.
The bible doesn't tell us how long he was exiled here but it was a long enough time that he did many magnificent writings and other things. I can only imagine his feelings while he was there away from family and friends. He surely was quite lonely but he didn't seem to fret about it for he had suffered much of his ministry at the hand of persecution. The early church folks were often persecuted even killed.
At Patmos one Sunday morning the Lord spoke things to John. Wherever one goes and no matter what happens Christian people know they are in the presence of the Lord. John did for sure. It must have been a real comfort to the older prophet to sense and hear the Lord's voice. Wouldn't it be good for all of us to live so close to the Lord and have such a relation to him? Surely he got his inspiration for writing the entire book of Revelation. In my next article I plan to write of his grand vision of heaven and words about his present situation and of things to come.
Glorious days would come and this surely perked up his spirit and confidence. He heard clearly the voice of God saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last..." Alpha and Omega was the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, like our A to Z. He identified himself to John as the eternal Lord and master. What a comfort to know one is close to the Lord and to feel his wonderful presence. Can you recall those times when you needed the Lord and he seemed to be right there beside and with you?
John had walked close to the Lord and even in this trying time he knew he had the Lord with him. The Lord promises, "I will be with you even to the end of the ages." John knew this and it was a comfort to him.
Other things I might mention. He was the apostle John not John the Baptist. In the early days of Jesus ministry he was in the time of calling his disciples who would continue his ministry when he would return to the Father in Heaven. One day he was thatching an experienced fisherman and his two boys fishing. When time came he called the two boys to be his close followers. Their names were James and John. Both of them surrendered their lives to be disciples which were learners and followers. Both of them and ten more men became known as the twelve apostles.
John evidently became a close follower of Christ. When Jesus was on the mount of Transfiguration he took some of his closest followers with him and Christ was revealed more closely to them. John was one of them. At the last supper that Jesus met with his disciples before he was crucified as they were eating, John placed his head on the breast of Jesus. Other disciples recognized this gesture. The bible says he was the "disciple who Jesus loved."
I would think that this is the only one he loved but it does express how much Christ was pleased with him. The old faithful disciple must have been a person of lovely character and disposition. Some of our Christian friends we just naturally find them easy to know realize how faithful they are, and they show their love to us.
We love all the brethren but somehow some are easier to know. This may have been true with Jesus and the apostles. John was like that to the Saviour. John was a man of great character, of great service, and great to know. I would like to be more like the Apostle John.
My next article will be about his vision in Revelation, Chapter 4.