John the Apostle
1. So far we have looked Peter, James and Andrew
a. The impetuous Peter
b. The short fused James
c. The second fiddle player Andrew
2. As we look at these disciples we find that they were all ORDINARY folk
a. Folk just like you and me
b. Folk with good traits
c. Folk with traits that needed improvement
d. Ordinary folks
3. As we look at these disciples we probably see ourselves
a. As we look at these disciples we also learn HOW to handle our weak traits
4. Been said:
a. ‘If you want to know THEOLOGY – read PAUL
b. ‘If you want to know Christian ETHICS – read JAMES
c. ‘If you want to know all about LOVE – read JOHN
i. John TEACHES more about LOVE than any other NT writer
5. We looked at John’s brother – James - last week
a. Their DAD – Zebedee
b. John’s OCCUPATION – fisherman
Mark 1:19-20 (KJV) 19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
c. John’s name is recorded some 50 times
i. Only disciple listed more is PETER
d. John wrote FIVE of the NT books
i. 1,2,3 John – John - Revelation
e. John was around 18 or 19 when the Lord calls him
i. Making him probably the YOUNGEST of the disciples
f. Like James - John was full of zeal and excitement
i. Remember he was one who wanted to NUKE that Samaritan village for NOT welcoming them
Luke 9:54 (KJV) And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
ii. Remember he was one who requested places of HONOR
Mark 10:37 (KJV) They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
g. What a TRANSFORMATION took place in the life of John
h. John certainly LEARNED his lesson well
i. John – the apostle of LOVE
6. What does John’s LIFE tell us?
JOHN LEARNED TO SHOW HIS LOVE BY ACCEPTING
1. Now we know John started out with a SHORT fuse
a. John is mad at a guy for casting out DEMONS
b. So, John and the other disciples go to Jesus telling Him what THEY did
Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
c. Notice the issue is NOT that this guy cast out DEMONS
d. RATHER this guy was not one of the DISCIPLES
i. He was not part of THEIR group
2. John THOUGHT he was doing a GREAT thing
a. Protecting their TURF
b. Man, is Jesus going to pat John on the back for this
3. Jesus went right to the heart of the matter
a. Jesus saw John’s PRIDE – JEALOUSY – SELF SERVING attitude
b. Jesus tells John to BACK OFF
c. Jesus tells John to leave this man alone
d. Jesus tells John that no one who performs a miracle in Jesus’ name speaks badly of Him
Mark 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part
4. Is Jesus telling John and US that all of His followers are NOT part of the SAME group?
a. People on JESUS’ side have the common goal of standing against EVIL
b. People of JESUS’ side have the common goal of building up the KINGDOM of God
c. Think Jesus is teaching we don’t have to be TWINS to be brothers and sisters in Christ
5. I am walking a very fine LINE here
a. We must be very care we don’t confuse CUSTOM for DOCTRINE
b. That we don’t confuse STYLE for DOCTRINE
c. If a GROUP is identified with a Protestant denomination they have a DOCTRINAL problem
i. Not a CUSTOM or STYLE difference
d. If a GROUP does not affiliate with the ABA – THAT does not AUTOMATICALLY make them UNSCRIPTURAL
e. Just BECAUSE one goes to a NON ABA church does not automatically make them UNSOUND
i. It is what THEY believe INDIVIDUALLY that determines their PERSONAL status with God
ii. We all know of some ABA types who are not even a 3rd cousin removed 50 times from MISSIONARY Baptists
i. Does the person believe in SALVATION by grace ALONE?
ii. Does the person believe in a PERSONAL commitment to Jesus
iii. Does the person believe in a PERSONAL confession of their sins
g. We can go on down the list of what are CARDINAL doctrines
i. But NO WHERE is AFFILIATION mentioned
ii. No where is DENOMINATION mentioned
iii. Affiliation / denomination play a BIG part in my friend circle
6. Over the course of John’s ministry - his VIEW of people change
a. No longer does he AUTOMATICALLY reject OTHER believers
b. Look what he writes:
1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
c. What a change
d. Believeth - means to believe something to the degree it changes your life
e. NOW he is ACCEPTING
f. John is also telling us that not only are we to LOVE the Father,
i. But we are to LOVE His children
7. John thought he was doing GOOD by casting this guy out and telling Jesus
a. Was John entertaining the notion that he, that John, was a BIG CHEESE?
b. Was John entertaining the notion that he, that John, was someone SPECIAL?
i. That this OTHER guy was INSIGNIFICANT?
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
8. Even the most simple act of giving water in the name of Jesus is SERVING the Lord
a. Yes, the 12 Disciples did have a SPECIAL calling
b. Yes, the 12 Disciples did render GREAT service to our Lord
c. BUT neither is there any TRIVIAL or UNIMPORTANT services for God
i. God will REWARD all people regardless of how SMALL we may think their deeds are
d. Christ will NOT forget even the smallest act done in HIS NAME
9. Wonder what DAMAGE was done by John and the other disciples REBUKING this guy who was trying to drive out demons in Jesus’ name
a. Did they cause him to think that he was NOT a follower of Jesus?
b. Did they cause him to become discouraged and no longer trying to SERVE Jesus?
c. Oh, the damage we can do when we don’t control our TONGUE
d. Oh, the damage we can do when we don’t control our ACTIONS
e. One discouraging word can NULLIFY zillions of compliments
f. Whatever happened, Jesus sure is NOT happy with John and the rest
Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
g. Offend – word from which we get our word ‘scandalize’
i. Means to ‘cause to stumble’
ii. Idea of ‘tripping up anyone trying to follow Jesus’
h. Jesus says of such better they be SENT to the BOTTOM of the sea
10. Jesus is telling John and US, that causing a brother or sister to stumble in THEIR faith by OFFENDING them, by DISCOURAGING them will result in a serious judgment in heaven
a. As Christians we had better be very CAREFUL
Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
11. NOW there is a BIG difference between ACCEPTING people and APPROVING what they do
a. When people come to church we NEED to be ACCEPTING and LOVED
i. Regardless of their SIN – their LIFE STYLE
b. That does NOT mean we APPROVE of their life style
c. That does NOT mean we APPROVE of their sin
d. It just means we love them like Jesus DOES
JOHN LEARNED TO SHOW HIS LOVE BY ACTION
1. Remember that account when Jesus and the disciples where going through Samaria?
a. It was late, they were tired, they were dirty, they wanted to stop and rest
b. So Jesus sent couple guys ahead to a Samaritan village to seek lodging
i. The guys came back and said they were NOT welcomed
c. They were JEWS going to JERUSALEM
d. John was one of the guys who wanted to NUKE that village
i. Not very loving is he
2. Remember the account when John and his brother wanted a special place beside Jesus in Heaven
a. Wanting a place of POWER
b. Wanting a place of HONOR
i. Not very loving is he
3. John 13 records the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet
a. Teaching them humility
b. Teaching them servant hood
c. Teaching them love
i. John’s heart was impressed
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
d. Jesus gave the world the RIGHT to judge us by our LOVE
i. John NEVER forgot those words
4. Some 60 years AFTER the resurrection John writes 1 John
a. Most, if not all of the apostles had DIED violent deaths
b. The FIRST was his brother James
c. You would think that by now he would have been a bitter OLD man
d. You would think that by now his heart would have been filled with ANGER
e. BUT John had CHANGED
i. His MESSAGE was now one of LOVE
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
f. Love is found 24 times in this short little letter
g. This John who wanted to ‘nuke’ a village
h. This John who wanted a place of ‘power’ and ‘honor’
i. This John certainly has CHANGED
j. John had a heart transplant
k. Interesting in the 21 chapters of the Gospel of John, he never mentions HIS name
i. Simply referring to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved
John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
l. Interesting too, that John was the ONLY disciple that followed Jesus to the CROSS
m. We looked at HOW Jesus responded to John at the Cross in this morning text reading
n. From that day forward John took Mary into HIS home
o. Tradition tells us that John took care of Mary till her DEATH
p. What a TRANSFORMATION in John’s life
q. From that hot tempered, ambitious, selfish and intolerant guy
i. Kind of like you and me
ii. But a guy whom Jesus saw POTENTIAL
r. John the Apostle of LOVE
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1. Tradition tells us that John became a leader in the early church
a. He is NOT mentioned in Acts after the death of his brother James
2. Tradition tells us that he became the pastor of the church at Ephesus
3. Tradition also tells us that John’s death was quit different for the other apostles
a. Peter was crucified upside down
b. Andrew was crucified on an x cross – later to be called the ‘Andrew’ cross
c. James, John’s brother was killed by a Roman sword
d. John was in his 80’s
i. During a persecution of the church, John was EXILED to a penal colony on the island of Patmos
1. In the Aegean Sea
2. Not very far from Ephesus
ii. It was there that John received VISIONS from the Lord that he wrote down
1. Compiled into our LAST book of the Bible
e. John lived into his 90’s and reported that he died a NATURAL death
i. The only apostle to escape a violent death
4. John’s traits at the start of his journey with the Lord were
a. Anger, selfish ambition, intolerance
b. BUT Jesus transformed him into a great apostle of LOVE
c. As Jesus changed John, Jesus can change ANYONE
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.