The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise


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Hierarchical Succession of the Patriarchal See of Ephesus

As days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, the sin of the gang increased. John, requested back for another matter, inquired also of Reuben the status of Marcus.

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It seems that besides being a charismatic and great leader, John also had a strong memory. He is dead to God; he turned to wickedness and abandoned The Way. With that, Ruben again burst out with more tears of sorrow.

Author and Audience

In distress, the apostle was beside himself and lamented with passion. But with one look at the determined old man, Marcus, with frightened recognition and ashamed guilt, took flight. The old apostle, forgetting his age, had only one goal in mind, he cut loose after Marcus.

Guide and gang stood with gaping mouths, stunned disbelief of such fear from a monstrous rebel and the spryness of one old man. Pity me my son! If needs be, I will take your death, as the Lord died for us. For you, my son, I will surrender my life! Stop now and believe, Christ has sent me to you today! With that, Marcus stopped and fell to the ground, humbled, embarrassed and with no strength left, he shook and wept bitterly. Marcus lamented and confessed his wretchedness, baptized the second time by his own river of tears. John gave the oath that Marcus would find forgiveness from the Savior.

Marcus, now purified by repentance, was led back to his congregation. After prayer and fasting, the lost lamb, the prodigal, was restored back into the Church. Marcus was presented by John as a great example of one who repented from his past sin and as a trophy of a regenerated soul. One who Christ had mercy upon. One who has eternal life in the kingdom of heaven with the Savior and the Father. Not one who fears eternal fire and damnation, all because Marcus, that prodigal son, turned from his sin and into the hands of Jesus Christ, his savior and Lord. Forgiveness and restoration for a repentant soul was seen here, let no man teach otherwise.

With John at our side, we have no fear that repentance of sin towards God leads to restoration. But we also have the Lord himself, the most exalted one, the Creator and Lord of all saying the same. If Jesus teaches the same, we have no fear of not receiving forgiveness and mercy see note 1. God is not some moral monster, rather a just judge and a merciful master.

He makes no bones about the seriousness of sin and fearful damnation. But, he is also clear that he desires none to perish, he takes no pleasure in damnation. You will not want to miss the next posts. If you found this one helpful, you will want to keep an eye open for others. Share your thoughts below! Note 1 This same mercy was taught by John in 1 John 1: Paul, in 2 Corinthians John does not seem to have talked as much as Peter, but he was certainly one who could hold his own.

He was the strong, silent type, the kind of fellow you would not want to make mad at you. Only Peter, James and John were allowed to accompany Jesus into the house of the synagogue official, whose daughter had already died before Jesus arrived Mark 5: John was present at the transfiguration of Jesus, along with James and Peter Matthew Here, John had a foretaste of the glory of our Lord and His kingdom.

While Peter did not hesitate to speak on this occasion, John seems to have remained silent, perhaps having been dumbstruck by what he saw. At a most inappropriate time, John, along with his brother James, asked Jesus for prominent positions in His coming kingdom Mark It is as though James and John did not even hear what Jesus had just said. They took Jesus aside and asked Him privately to grant their request that they be given positions of prominence in the kingdom, above the other disciples. Naturally, the other disciples were incensed.

James and John had no idea what they were asking, or what true discipleship really was. Peter, James, and John, along with Andrew, privately asked Jesus to reveal to them details concerning the last days Mark Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem, and the disciples were awe-struck by the beauty of the temple. Jesus cautioned them not to become too attached to the temple since it was to be destroyed. This inside knowledge enables some to think of themselves as superior to others. When Jesus sent two of his disciples to make preparations for the Passover, one of these men was John and the other was Peter Luke Among other things, it seems these two who would spend much time together in the Book of Acts were the most trusted disciples.

Judas could certainly not have been trusted to do this task. There was a certain mystery about the location of this meeting room, but these two were able to find it just as Jesus had indicated. There is an almost prophetic element in the way Jesus both informed and instructed these two, so that they could make preparations for celebrating the Passover, yet without allowing Judas to know where.

Jesus and His disciples were in the upper room celebrating Passover. During the meal, Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him. The disciples could hardly believe their ears. They had no idea whom He referred to as His betrayer. Peter was a close friend of John.

They were not only partners in fishing but appear to have been close friends as well. It seems that this man almost has to be John see John John was one of the first to see the empty tomb and to believe that Jesus was indeed risen from the dead John After Jesus had been crucified, buried, and resurrected, Mary came to the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week. Looking in, he saw the linen wrappings, but he did not enter. John then entered the tomb, appraised the situation, and believed. John was not only one of the first to witness the resurrection, he was one of the very first to believe it.

The Apostle John corrects this misconception, and then goes on to say that this same fellow is the one who witnessed the things recorded in his Gospel and who was the author of it John We have not seen the last of John when we reach the end of the Gospels, for apart from the Apostle Paul John and Peter are the dominant apostles in the Book of Acts. John is one of the disciples gathered in the upper room 1: He accompanies Peter on his way to the temple at the hour of prayer and thus participates in the healing of the lame man 3: John and Peter are arrested and instructed to cease preaching Christ by the Sadducees, but they refuse, insisting they must obey God rather than man by preaching that Jesus has been raised from the dead Acts 4: When the Gospel is proclaimed in Samaria and many come to faith, Peter and John are sent there, and when they lay their hands on these new believers they receive the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles did at Pentecost Acts 8: James, the brother of John, was killed by Herod, who intended to kill Peter as well, but God delivered Peter so that he could continue to preach the Gospel Acts The changes we see are not a credit to John, but rather to his God.

Allow me to share some lessons which can be learned from the life of John. We can safely say from what we see of John in the Gospels that our Lord did not choose him for all the fine qualities he possessed. John had no status in life as a fisherman nor was he an educated man, even by the standards of that day see Acts 4: He certainly did not possess any qualities or education that impressed the scribes and Pharisees. He was self-centered and self-serving, an opportunist who did not hesitate to get the jump on his peers. The fact that our Lord chose John is testimony to the grace of God.

The Apostle Paul pretty well sums it up when he writes,. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were members of the upper class. Who would ever have imagined that this rough and tumble fisherman would become the apostle of love?

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We see the sovereignty of God in choosing to save John, in making him one of the twelve, and selecting him to be one of the inner three Peter, James, and John. We can especially see the sovereignty of God when we compare John with his brother, James. These two brothers grew up in the same home and had the same shaping experiences. Both brothers followed Jesus for the same length of time, and both were included in the inner circle of three.

In spite of all these similarities, James was the first to die as a martyr for the cause of Christ; John seems to have been the last of the twelve to die. James did not write any New Testament books; John wrote five. How can this be explained? I am not sure it can be, but we can acknowledge this as an illustration of the sovereignty of God. God does not operate in the ways men expect.

God raises up one and puts down another. Believe it or not, some scholars feel this is one of the strongest arguments that can be made against John as the author of this Gospel. What better epitaph than to be known as a man whom Jesus loved? Some years ago I was actively involved in prison ministry with Prison Fellowship. One seminar I conducted was in a maximum-security prison in the State of Texas. It was a tough prison. During a break, one inmate came up to me and said he had heard that some of the volunteers at the seminar were themselves former offenders.


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He asked if it would be possible for some of these ex-offenders to share their testimony during the seminar. I thought it was a great idea and asked if any of the volunteers wished to share their testimony. One of them told this story, as best as I can remember the details:. I was an inmate in this prison some years ago. I was a member of a motorcycle gang, living in a house with other gang members. In fact, I served time for stealing a motorcycle.

My life was not going well at all, and someone told me that I should read the Bible, so I got one—well, actually, I stole one. I began to read the Gospels. I wept so loud I had to go into the bathroom to read, where I could turn on the shower to cover the sounds of my crying. There is something about our Lord in the Gospels which draws men and women to Him. Men and women guilty of shameful sins drew near, somehow assured that He would not reject them, sensing that He had come to forgive them.

I believe a significant part of that magnetism which drew men and women to our Lord was His love. I believe one of the things about Jesus which overwhelmed John was the love which He had for him. And so John referred to himself in those terms which meant the most to him. What label would John rather have than this: My mind is boggled by the possibility that anyone would think that referring to himself in this way could be an argument against his authorship of this Gospel. Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his time had come for him to depart from this world to the Father.

He had loved his own who were in the world, and now he loved them to the end John It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love NIV. It was before the Passover festival. Jesus knew that his hour had come and he must leave this world and go to the Father.

He had always loved his own who were in the world, and now he was to show the full extent of his love New English Bible. It was before the festival of the Passover, and Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was New Jerusalem Bible. It was there that He took upon Himself the sins of the world. It was there that He bore the wrath of God for our sins.

Internal Evidence

Have you experienced this love personally by accepting His sacrificial death for your sins? I urge you to simply sit down and read through this marvelous Gospel of John, and sense the love God has for you in Christ, and then to receive it by trusting in Him. There is no greater love.

There is no greater gift than the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. I played the trumpet in our high school band, which frequently marched in parades, and we had a trombone player named Pete who was painfully predictable. Whenever anyone took a picture of the band, Pete was out of step. He was always out of step. Not only did he know he was out of step, he constantly tried to get back in step.

And so he was persistently doing a strange kind of shuffle, trying to synchronize his feet with the music and with the rest of the band members.

By the time the shuffle was over, Pete was back out of step. A number of scholars seem to look upon John and his Gospel like my friend Pete—out of step. Some scholars would say that the Gospel of John is out of step with the three other gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These three gospels are often referred to as the Synoptic Gospels, because these Gospels all tend to approach the life of Christ from the same perspective.

John, on the other hand, approaches the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ quite differently.

When Was the Book of Revelation Written? : Christian Courier

I would like to point out some of these differences and the impact this has on our study of the Gospel of John. When you compare John with the other three Synoptic Gospels, you discover that John does not include many of the elements contained in the other Gospels. There are several other areas of emphasis which require a little more discussion.

It might appear that John places less emphasis on the Old Testament, since he quotes it less frequently than any other Gospel writer—a mere ten times. One of the features of these allusions is the manner in which Jesus is assumed to replace Old Testament figures and institutions. He is the new temple, the one of whom Moses wrote, the true bread from heaven, the true Son, the genuine vine, the tabernacle, the serpent in the wilderness, the Passover.

Rarely articulated, there is nevertheless an underlying hermeneutic at work, a way of reading the Old Testament that goes back to Jesus himself. A second important emphasis of John is his highly developed theology. Ironically, some use this fact to argue against the Apostle John as the author of this Gospel:. The highly developed theology of John is thought by many to indicate a late date. I am reminded of years ago when I was a sixth grade school teacher, and I showed a movie to my students.

When the amazing pattern of rocks was discovered at Stonehenge, some scientists adamantly refused to believe that there could be anything sophisticated here. Primitive men were incapable of such things. But the more Stonehenge was studied, the more men were amazed at the way in which these rocks related to the heavenly bodies and perhaps in a way that made it a very simple computer.

Let us beware of letting our presuppositions cloud our vision. If John wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, why should we expect his theology to be primitive and undeveloped? He certainly has certain doctrines that he wishes his reader to grasp. Christology is one major area of theological emphasis. They begin wide-eyed at what Jesus says and does. In Luke 5 see verses , Peter, James, and John marvel at the miracle of the great harvest of fish.

The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise
The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise
The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise
The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise
The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise
The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise The Last Week of Seven Years and the Apostle John s Surprise

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