Following Jesus 21

Are you like John?

The next disciple we examine and study is the Apostle John. Much like Peter, Andrew and James, John possessed characteristics and behavior traits that believers today may imitate. Are you like John? If so, how are you like him?

Let us explore some facts about John. John was son of Zebedee (Mark 3:17). He is always mentioned with his brother James in the gospels. He is always listed after his brother James. This would seem to indicate that James was the elder of the two.

Along with Peter, Andrew and James, John was a fisherman (Mark 1:20).  He was part of the inner three disciples along with Peter and James.

Some Characteristics of John include:

· John was very much like his brother James. He was mentioned in the incidents found in the gospels which mention his brother. Like James, John could be intolerant, ambitious, zealous and explosive. He was also called a “son of thunder” (Mark 3:17).

· Two words most characterize John: love and truth. John uses the word “love” (agape) over eighty times. He uses the word “truth” some thirty eight times in his gospel, and his three epistles.

· John was the teacher of love and a witness to the truth. His love for Christ was controlled by truth. He spoke the truth in love. He saw a clear line between truth and error. He was not a sloppy sentimentalist.

· John’s self-description of himself in his gospel was a testimony of God’s grace: the disciple whom Jesus loved. (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:1-2; 21:1-7; 21:20-24).

· Jesus never asked John if he loved Him; but he asked Peter (John 21:15-17).

· Jesus never challenged John to be devoted to Him; but he asked Peter (John 21:22).

· Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:16-17) but he told John to take care of His mother Mary (John 19:26-27).

· The word John uses for love is agape. Self-sacrificial love of the will.

What was John like and how may we be like him? This is what we seek to explore in the days to come. Soli deo Gloria! 

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