John the Beloved
John the Beloved
I have a fascination with the Apostle John, or otherwise known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. There is something so special, so intimate about the relationship between him and Jesus. I find this relationship very compelling. I am not naturally a touchy type of person, but I wonder if I walked with Jesus on earth…would I be like John? A Jesus
follower stalker! Would I want to lean on Jesus, follow him, never missing a chance to be near him? I hope so!
John was a young man, in his early 20’s, when he met Jesus. He was like a younger brother to Jesus, following Him everywhere. Was he annoying? Possibly! Some of his dialogue with Jesus and the disciples would certainly suggest that he was. I love, love, love that John refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Nowhere else in scripture do we see this reference; only in the Gospel of John!
Scripture paints an image of a young John, but it is interesting to know John was in his 80’s penning his letters – Gospel of John, John 1,2 & 3 and Revelation. John was exiled as a prisoner to the Island of Patmos, close to the city of Ephesus. It is sobering to picture a frail elderly man, isolated in dark, disease infested conditions – often noted as “the house of darkness”. As beautiful as his time with Jesus was on earth, it would be in a 1st century prison that John would begin the most important part of his personal ministry.
The Gospel of John is different from the three synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke. The synoptic Gospels are descriptive in their writing; where as, the Gospel of John is reflective in the events of Jesus. Many times, John describes the events as an old man reflecting on the beauty or significance of the story. Consider when John tells of the story of Mary of Bethany anointing the feet of Jesus with her perfume in John 12:13: “…the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” Is John closing his eyes as he remembers the smell? Is he recalling the look on Jesus’ face of love towards Mary? This is the beauty of the Gospel of John. We see Jesus through a reflective lens.
Although John’s prison situation was horrific, it did not stop his personal mission. Instead of giving up, he begins writing poetry and dreaming Revelation visions. Can you imagine a world without the Gospel of John? We wouldn’t have the stories of:
John could have felt forgotten sitting in prison. He could have felt too old and no longer relevant. He could have felt passed up as others were out spreading the Gospel. What kept John going? What prevented these types of feelings from taking hold of his heart?
John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John dwelt, he walked, he talked, he sat, and he touched The Word. He witnessed Jesus healing the sick. Loving the outcast. Teaching truth to the thousands. He touched His resurrected body. He lounged against Him as they broke bread. He knew the majesty of Jesus, but he also experienced the specialness of Jesus.
Even as John sat in a prison cell, Jesus never stopped talking to him from Heaven. He would pull back the veil of Heaven and allow John to have a sneak peak of what was on the other side. John’s revelation motivated him with hope for eternity. Jesus did not forget John, and He does not forget you!
Perhaps, you are going through a season where you have forgotten your usefulness to the Gospel, remember:
Your hands do not expire from laying on the sick and praying for healing
Your feet do not cease from walking to bring the good news
Your mouth does not forget to form words to speak life and hope
If you are breathing, you have a job for the kingdom.