The Apostle John

John the Apostle

The “beloved disciple,” as Jesus had called him, was the youngest of the twelve apostles. Probably no more than 18 years of age at the time of Jesus’ call to him, John belonged to the inner circle of the three (with James and Peter). He and his brother James were “sons of thunder” who boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah to the Jewish people. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he became one of the three pillars of the church. John gave oversight to the churches of Asia Minor for many years and became known as the “elder” of these churches. He was the mentor of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who later died as a martyr. In his later years John penned his Gospel, three short epistles for the churches of Asia, and the Revelation of Christ as the coming judge and ruler of the world. “I John, your brother who shares with you in the suffering and kingship and endurance of Jesus, was in the island that is called Patmos, because I had spoken God’s message and bore witness to Jesus. On the Lord’s day I was inspired by the Spirit and heard a voice as loud as the blast of a trumpet, saying: ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. What you have seen, write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches in Asia Minor.’” Tradition says that John died as a martyr by being left to die on the Island of Patmos. Surely, John the Apostle could write of God-fearers, those who reverence God (John 9:30), for he himself had demonstrated such a virtue all of his life.