JESUS IS ANOINTED WITH THE SPIRIT

Bible Reading: John 1:19-32; Luke 4:18-21

Unlike the other gospel writers, John tells us nothing about the birth or early years of Jesus. He is not so concerned with the humanity of Jesus. His purpose is that we should grasp and understand His deity.

John the Baptist makes it doubly clear that he did not know Jesus before He came to be baptised [John 1:31,33]. That seems strange because their mothers were cousins, although it is true that their families lived in different parts of the country [see Luke 1:39]. Even when Jesus came to be baptised, John did not immediately recognise Him. It was only as the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove that John recognised him. Doesn’t it seem remarkable that Jesus did not stand out in the crowd before His baptism?

God revealed to John the Baptist that the One on whom he saw the Spirit descending as a dove would be the Messiah. In writing his gospel, John does not report the actual baptism of Jesus but rather focuses on its purpose, which was to reveal Jesus to Israel as her Messiah.

At His baptism Jesus was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Isaiah prophesied that the Holy Spirit would anoint the Messiah [Isaiah 11:2; 42:1; 61:1-2a]. This happened at Jesus’ baptism. Immediately after His baptism the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil [Matthew 4:1-13]. The devil was afraid of the anointing on Jesus and tried to destroy Him. It is significant that immediately after Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit that there was a spiritual battle. Jesus overcame the devil in the wilderness and returned to Galilee filled with the Spirit’s power. On His return to Nazareth Jesus spoke in the synagogue and read the prophetic words about Him written in Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…” [Isaiah 61:1-2a] and then said, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day” [Luke 4:21 NLT]. Jesus’ hearers would have understood the implications of His words. He was saying that he is the Messiah!

Jesus was never without the Spirit in His childhood and growing years, but when the anointing of the Holy Spirit came upon Him at His baptism His ministry began. Before His baptism, apart from one time when he was twelve years old, there is silence. After His baptism come His teachings and amazing miracles, sign and wonders. It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit that made the difference. The apostle Peter says, And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” [Acts 10:38 NLT].

Questions:

Why was the anointing of the Holy Spirit so vital to the ministry of Jesus?

Read 1 John 2:27 – What does this verse tell us about believers and the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why should this be important to us?

What were the effects of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Jesus [Acts 10:38]

GRACE AND TRUTH – 2

Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:1-8

Today I want to share an up to date testimony from a dear friend, Rachel Molano, written a few days ago. It shows God’s grace and truth. It is a story of healing, the past washed away, seated in heavenly places, with a hope for the ages to come.

“I am without doubt living in the most extraordinary season of favour in my whole life. At time when I literally have to pinch myself that this is my life… especially the last two weeks. God has catapulted me right into Ephesians 3:20 “now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine”. Getting to work with people who have been heroes of mine for years, dreams coming true daily, meeting famous people I cannot believe I get to be in a room with, going places I never thought I would, like the National Prayer Breakfast in DC and The House of Lords and Parliament, doors opening everywhere I turn, prayers answered, the deepest cries of my heart fulfilled, favour that is blowing my mind. Seemingly continually in one giant stream of blessing…I can barely process it all and I can’t stop smiling!! I’ve never ever felt so happy! But I remember the background story. Something few people talk about, once the blessing comes.

I remember years lying in a darkened room with no energy to do more than have a shower, in agony all over my body crying out to God for help. I remember the prison of being trapped in anorexia and bulimia, every day feeling like I wanted to die, and the day I nearly did take my life but God intervened. I remember the 10 year hard slog of going after inner healing, saying yes over and over to God’s invitation to push deeper into the places of my heart I had locked away, and doing it all through sobbing and gritted teeth when there was no blessing or reward in sight and it hurt like hell, and everything in me wanted to stop. I remember every failed relationship, heartbreak and betrayal by those closest to me, and trying to pick myself up and keep on believing there was hope for another day. I remember every self- sabotaging decision I made to blow up my life and walk away from God. I remember the years in solitude beating myself up, hating myself and locked in shame thinking God would never use me again because of my bad choices. I remember the long years of fighting through anxiety, and fear of my future and declaring Gods promises over myself when I couldn’t see an ounce of hope. I remember the years and years of holding onto promises God kept making me of incredible things that would happen in my future, which looked like pipe dreams in the face of my pathetic life. I remember watching everyone else grow in favour and learning to celebrate for them when they got what I wanted. I remember it all.

In those 11 years of inner healing, those years and years passing me by with no change, the Lord spoke many crazy things to me about my destiny. Things that seemed laughable back then. That I would one day get to know this famous person or that person or one day do some amazing exploit or go to some incredible place. And though there was no hope in sight and I used to stare up at the stars every night and ask how could you ever do that God, a part of me dared to believe. Life is not some giant highlight reel and mine definitely hasn’t been. I well remember the days of just putting one foot in front of the other and wondering if the dark season would ever end but daring to believe it could. I used to ask God, “Please give me back all the years the locusts have eaten, please.” And he promised me He would.

And now I’m here and He’s done everything He said and more, way more.

If you’re still reading this and you’re in that time right now, pacing the floor, holding on to promises that seem impossible, in the middle of years of what seems like continual hopelessness…. don’t give up. HE IS FAITHFUL. And He will do what He promises. If I could go back to myself 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, I would say “Rachel, hold on, I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. Every heartbreak now will pale into insignificance in the face of the blessings God will pour out on you, and when you’re in it you will barely be able to imagine this is your life.” Hold on, He is faithful. He can do it all. He is the God of the impossible and blessed is the one who puts his trust in Him. He redeems everything, and He makes all things new!! I hope this blesses someone today! Don’t give up!”

GRACE AND TRUTH

For our Bible reading today, read this amazing passage from the Amplified Bible:

“And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).  John testified [repeatedly] about Him and has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’” For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favour upon favour, and gift heaped upon gift]. For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favour of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father]” [John 1:14-18].

This passage of Scripture is so overwhelmingly full of truth. It almost seems like sacrilege to comment upon it. Read it over and over again! Here we see Jesus Christ exalted. Here, out of Christ’s fullness, we find grace upon grace and God’s unlimited and undeserved favour poured out upon us. Here also we see Jesus revealing God the Father to us, so that we can understand His essence and His divine nature. John the Baptist is mentioned here but almost fades into insignificance as he speaks about Jesus!

Perhaps one thing to emphasize today is that both grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Grace can never be divorced from truth. If it is then the liberty that grace brings becomes licence! There are some people who teach that you can do as you please because you have received grace. We do not now live by the Law but by the Spirit who writes God’s Law in our hearts. Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” That is true, but when you love God you will only want to do what pleases Him, and that will always be truth. To be full of grace and truth means to be absolutely free of deception!

Throughout John’s Gospel we see grace and truth together. It does not deny sin, but it brings forgiveness and freedom. Ask the woman at the well [John chapter four]. Ask the lame man in the pool of Bethesda [John chapter five]. Ask the woman caught in the act of adultery [John chapter eight]. Ask a grateful Mary of Bethany [John chapter twelve]. Ask doubting Thomas [John chapter twenty]. Ask a broken, wounded Simon Peter [John chapter twenty-one]. Tomorrow we will hear an up-to-date testimony of grace and truth.

Questions:

What spoke to you most of all as you read the Bible passage today?

How do you see grace and truth working together in your life? In what way should grace and truth permeate our relationships with other people? If you have had wrong relationships would you ask God’s forgiveness today?

THE RIGHT TO BE A CHILD OF GOD

Bible Reading: Romans 8:12-17

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” [John 1:10-13].

I have been so blessed in recent weeks as we have sung the song, “I am no longer afraid, I am a child of God.” As we have sung this song in our church I have wondered, without being judgmental, if everyone singing the song really is a child of God. These verses in John’s Gospel make it clear that only certain people have the right to call themselves children of God.

More than thirty years ago my wife and I adopted a baby. It was a remarkable adoption. We took Timothy when he was one day old but for six months we could not call him our child. After the required six month due process we went to court and Timothy became our legally adopted child, and that gave him the right to call himself our child.

Not everybody is a child of God, and sadly some who might think that they are, are not! There is a legal process in becoming a child of God. Paul likens it in Romans to adoption, where God has adopted us into His family and calls us his children. Only then do we have the right to call ourselves God’s children.

John makes it clear what the process is that gives us the right to be called the children of God. This process is really one but has three parts to it – receiving Jesus, believing in His name and being born of God.

We must receive Jesus personally. His own people rejected Him [John 1:10] but to become His children we must receive Him. Have you personally asked Jesus to come into your heart? Have you welcomed Him into your life?

We must believe on His name. The word, believe needs to be explained. It is not a passive belief in Jesus and it is far more than a mental persuasion. The Bible says that even the devil believes [James 2:19]. The word, “believe” means to adhere to, to trust in, and rely upon! Are you relying upon Him for salvation? Do you trust Him for everything? Are you adhering to Him?

We must be born again of God. We will look much more closely at this when we look at John chapter three, but what John tells us in chapter one is that this birth is not by human descent – not of blood, nor by human effort – not of the will of the flesh, nor by the will of any other person – the will of man, but of God [John 1:13]. This new birth is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life when they turn from sin, receive Jesus, and trust Him as their Lord and Saviour.

A Question:

As you have read today’s reading do you have in your heart the assurance that you are a child of God? If not why not surrender your life to him today? If you are His child, then why not thank Him today.

BEHOLD, THE LAMB GOD

Bible Reading: Exodus 12:1-14

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! …As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”

[John 1:29,36 NLT]

It is said that in the Welsh Revival the congregations sang over and over again, “The Lamb, the Lamb, the dying Lamb.” As Pastor Stephen Jeffreys was preaching in Llanelli in South Wales on July 16th, 1914 a vision of the Lamb of God suddenly appeared on the wall behind the pulpit. Shortly after this, the vision changed to the face of the “Man of Sorrows”. Here is a description of what happened as seen by Stephen Jeffreys’ son:

“It has been described as a Face beautiful beyond description, benevolent beyond words, the face of the ‘Man of Sorrows’; and the eyes – kind, sad, glorious eyes – moved in the living face. It wasn’t something that disappeared in a second – the vision remained on the wall for a period of six hours. The lights were turned out, but still the vision could be seen. News of this strange appearance brought a great crowd of people in who had not attended the evening service. Infidels who came along out of mere curiosity were convinced by the evidence of their eyes, and became converted.”

The two most obvious characteristics of a lamb are innocence and gentleness. The Lamb is an amazing picture of Jesus. Referring to Jesus, John the Baptist twice said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.”

In our Bible reading today it was the blood of a slain lamb on the door frames that protected the Israelite people as the angel of death passed through Egypt. Later in the wilderness, the children of Israel killed a lamb without blemish every morning and evening as a sacrifice to atone for their sins [Exodus 29:38-42].

Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God who laid down His life and shed His blood for us. In the Old Testament the lamb was an unwilling victim, forced to die, but the death of the Lamb of God was voluntary – no man took His life from Him. He laid it down! He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Sin is the principle, but sins are the acts. Jesus dealt with the principle of sin on the cross, and in Him all our sins are forgiven!

Jesus in heaven is still the Lamb, and the song of the saints is, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, [Revelation 5:12].

All hail the Lamb enthroned on high
His praise shall be our battle cry
He reigns victorious forever glorious
His name is Jesus, He is the Lord

Questions:

Charles Wesley wrote, “See all your sins on Jesus laid, the Lamb of God was slain; His soul was an offering made for every soul of man” Do you see all your sins laid on Jesus so that you can be free? What does this mean to you?

THE FORERUNNER

Bible Reading: John 1:6-9, 15-36; 3:23-36

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe”

[John 1:6-7]

John the Baptist was a remarkable man. Jesus said of him that there was no one born of woman greater than John the Baptist [Matthew 11:11]. His birth was a miracle. His parents were old and his mother, Elizabeth, was barren [Luke 1:7].

Remarkable prophecies were given even before his birth. He would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb, and would turn many of the children of Israel back to God [Luke 1:15-16]. When Mary was carrying Jesus she visited Elizabeth and as she greeted Elizabeth the babe in Elizabeth’s womb leaped in response to Jesus [Luke 1:41]. Was there ever a clearer picture of unborn children having a living spirit within them?

Some of the character traits of John the Baptist’s life still challenge us today. Firstly, his humility of spirit, summed up by his words, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease” [John 3:30]. He said that he was not the Christ [John 3:28]. He denied that he was Elijah or the Prophet that Israel was expecting [John 1:21]. He simply referred to himself as The Voice, preparing the way for and pointing to the coming Christ! Secondly, his holiness of character, testified to by King Herod who knew that he was a holy man [Mark 6:20]. Thirdly, his clear testimony, about Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Son of God and of salvation [John 3:29-36]. People later said that the things John said about Jesus were true [John 10:40-41]. Fourthly, his simple lifestyle, evidenced in his camel’s hair clothes, with a leather belt, and his diet of locusts and honey [Matthew 3:4]. Fifthly, his honesty in adversity, when imprisoned he began to doubt and expressed this to Jesus [Matthew 11:2]. Sixthly, his faithfulness when facing death, as he fearlessly denounced Herod for seducing and marrying the wife of his half-brother [Matthew 14:1-12]. John the Baptist is called a witness [John 1:6,7]. The word used for witness is the Greek word marturia, which is the root word of our English word martyr. In John the Baptist’s life faithful witnessing to the truth literally led to his death!

Questions:

In what way can the words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” become more meaningful in your life as a follower of Jesus?

God’s Word speaks about being choked by things [Luke 8:14]. In what way can you simplify your lifestyle so that “things” do not choke your spiritual life?

Being faithful to the truth cost John the Baptist his life. What has faithfulness to Jesus cost in your life?

JESUS IS THE WORD OF GOD

Bible Reading: John 1:1-18

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” [John 1:1-4]

When He came to earth as a man they called His name Jesus. That was His earthly name, as a man, but as the eternal, pre-existent Son of God He was known as the Word, and the Word became flesh. John identifies the Word as Jesus! In the words of Charles Wesley, “Our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man.’

John uses the Greek word logos, which is translated as the Word in English. Logos had various meanings. In Greek philosophy, logos was the principle of reason that governed the world and gave it coherence.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Word was the agent of creation [Psalm 33:6] and the word of the Lord, an expression of God’s wisdom and creative power. The Word is how God speaks, and causes things to come into being [Genesis 1:3,9]. The Word was the source of life of everything that was created. Healing comes through the Word [Psalm 107:20]. The Centurion recognised this and Jesus marvelled at his faith [Matthew 8:8,10]. The Word powerfully accomplishes God’s purpose.

All of these amazing definitions of the Word describe Jesus. He is the living principle of reason that governs and gives coherence to the world. Literally in Him everything exists. He is the creative power and the expression of God’s wisdom. He is the source of life and light, brings healing, and powerfully accomplishes God’s purposes.

Jesus is eternal – the Word never had a beginning. Jesus is personal – the Word was God. The Word is described as “He” [John 1:2]. Jesus enjoyed intimate fellowship with His Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Creator – “without Him nothing was made that was made.” By calling Jesus the Word, John emphasises that Jesus is the revelation of God. “God has spoken to us by His Son” [Hebrews 1:1-2].

This amazing picture of Jesus, the Word, the One who is God is affirmed in a complementary passage of Scripture written by the apostle Paul to Colossians. He writes:

“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” [Colossians 1:15-17 NKJV].

One Question:

Would you read today’s devotional word and turn it into worship of Jesus? Take just five minutes to speak out your worship to Him for who He is!

AN OVERVIEW OF JOHN’S GOSPEL – 2

Bible Reading: John 4:31-47

In the Old Testament God revealed Himself to Moses using the name I AM.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” [Exodus 3:14]. God identifies Himself, as I AM WHO I AM. Revealing His divine Name declares His character and His attributes. This name is related to the Hebrew verb meaning, “to be,” and so implies the absolute existence of God. The Hebrew here is also the source of the English, “Yahweh,” “Jehovah,” or “Lord” [see Exodus 3:15]. He is not “I was” or “I will be” but the eternal I AM. He is forever God, forever the same and never changes.

John is concerned to emphasize the deity of Jesus Christ and so records the seven I AM sayings of Jesus. Can you imagine the impact upon Jesus’ hearers when He calls himself I AM seven times? “I AM the Bread of Life [John 6:35]; I AM the Light of the World [John 8:12]; “Before Abraham was I AM” [John 8:58]; I AM the Good Shepherd [John 10:11]; I AM the resurrection and the life [11:25]; I AM The way, the truth and the life [John 14:6]; I Am the true vine [John 15:1]. Jesus is God!

In his Gospel John produces seven testimonies to the deity of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist said, “This is the Son of God [1:34]. Nathanael said of Jesus, “You are the Son of God” [1:49]. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” [6:69]. Martha said, “You are the Christ, the Son of God” [11:27]. Thomas said, “My Lord and my God” [20:28]. John testified, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” [20:31] and Christ Himself said, “I am the Son of God” [10:36].

Did you notice the repetition of the number seven in John’s Gospel? Seven was the number of perfection. Not only are there seven I AM sayings, and seven distinct testimonies to the deity of Jesus in John’s Gospel, but also there are also seven miracles, known as signs. These are turning water into wine [2:1-11]; healing the nobleman’s son [4:46-54]; Healing the infirm man at Bethesda [5:1-15]; Feeding the five thousand [6:1-14]; Walking on the water [6:15-21]; Healing the blind man [9:41] and raising Lazarus from the dead [11:1-57].

There are three other key areas of teaching in John’s Gospel that are unique to John. He gives the teaching of Jesus on the person and work of the Holy Spirit [John 14:15-18,25-26; 16:5-15]. More than the other Gospels John writes about the relationship between Jesus and His Father. John refers to “the Father” more than 100 times. It is only John who writes about the importance of abiding in Christ for believers [15:1-17].

Tomorrow, we will begin the exciting journey through John’s Gospel.

Questions:

Did you memorize yesterday’s key verse? What has specifically impacted you or come to your attention for the first time in this panoramic view of John’s Gospel? What do you find powerful in God’s name I AM?

AN OVERVIEW OF JOHN’S GOSPEL

Bible Reading: John 20:24-31

Several years ago a young man who had been on a church staff for more than three years confessed to me that he knew some of the promises in the book of Isaiah but did not really understand how Isaiah fitted into the Bible. I bought the young man a copy of Henrietta Mears’ What the Bible is all About. A few days later the young man excitedly said to me, “I see where it fits now!”

It is one thing to know a few Bible verses, but entirely different to have a panoramic view of the Bible. With a wider view we see not only the context of individual verses but also how each book of the Bible is set in place. This is why it is important that we have a general overview of John’s Gospel before we begin to look at its contents more closely.

John’s Gospel is very different from the other three Gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke were written for specific audiences, but John was written for everyone, but with a specific purpose. Here is the key to John’s Gospel:

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name [John 20:30-31]. John limited his purpose to show that Jesus was the promised Messiah – the Son of God. The key word in John’s Gospel is the word “believe” – it occurs 98 times.

John’s material is very different from the other gospels. He does not give Jesus’ human genealogy because John’s emphasis is Jesus’ deity. John includes nothing about Jesus’ birth, boyhood, temptation in the wilderness, the transfiguration, or the calling of the disciples. There are no parables in John’s Gospel and no Great Commission. John speaks uniquely of Jesus as the “Logos” and Creator of all things [John 1:1-18].

Only in John’s Gospel do we find Jesus’ High Priestly prayer [John 17] There are various stories unique to John – The wedding in Cana [John 2:1-11]; The story of Nicodemus [John 3]; The woman at the well [John 4:1-38]; The healing of a nobleman’s son [John 4:46-54]; The infirmed man at Bethesda [John 5:1-19]; The woman caught in the act of adultery [John 8]; The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead [John 11]; The restoration of Peter after his denial of Jesus [John 21].

Tomorrow we will continue with an overview of John’s Gospel.

Questions:

Some people might think that we should get straight into the text of John’s Gospel and not take the time for a panoramic view of this Gospel. Why do you think a broad view of the Gospel is important?

Would you take time today to memorize John 20:30-31, so that as we read through John’s Gospel you will be able to continually remind yourself of the purpose for which this Gospel was written?

Why do you think that John emphasizes the word “believe” so many times?

JOHN – A LIFE LIVED FOR GOD!

Bible Reading: Acts 3:1-9; 4:13-22

John would have been just a young man when Jesus called him, and said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He was probably in his early to mid twenties.

John spent nearly three years in close association with Jesus and, together with Peter and his brother James, belonged to the “inner circle” of Jesus’ close friends. They were together when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead [Mark 5:37], when Jesus was transfigured [Matthew 17:1], and in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus went through His deep struggle before going to the cross.

John is mentioned three times in the Book of Acts, and was clearly a man of authority in the early church. He was with Peter when the lame man was healed [Acts 3:1], addressing the Sanhedrin [Acts 4:13], and together with Peter was sent by the Church in Jerusalem to pray for people in Samaria to receive the Holy Spirit [Acts 8:14]. Seventeen years after his conversion, the apostle Paul met with Peter and John in what became known as the Council of Jerusalem. John, who would have been in his early forties by that time, was, together with Peter, recognised as a pillar in the church at Jerusalem [Galatians 1:18; 2:1 and 2:9].

Little is known of the middle period of John’s life, but when he was in his mid-sixties, and shortly before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, John moved to Ephesus. He became the pastor of the church in Ephesus, in what is modern-day Turkey, and had a special relationship with the other churches in that area. There is a church tradition, which says, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived in Ephesus with John for several years. It was whilst living in Ephesus that John wrote his gospel, sometime after 80 AD, and following this wrote his three epistles.

Whilst living in Ephesus John was arrested and sentenced to death. Tertullian, the 2nd-century North African theologian, reported that John was plunged into boiling oil from which he miraculously escaped unscathed. Following this escape the Roman emperor Domitian ordered that he should be exiled to an island called Patmos. It was while on Patmos that Jesus revealed to John what we have today in the Book of Revelation. John is referred to by name four times in the Book of Revelation [Rev. 1:1,4,9; 22:8].

When he was released from exile John returned to Ephesus. John’s brother

James was the first of the apostles to die; on the other hand, John was the last.  John died peacefully in Ephesus in old age around the year 100 AD and was the only one of the apostles who did not die as a martyr for his faith.

A Question:

If someone wrote your biography would it be, like that of John, the story of someone who fully followed the Lord? Why not look back at the time when Jesus called you to follow Him? What have been the key moments in your journey with Jesus since He called you to follow Him?