THE 12 APOSTLES:
JOHN SON OF ZEBEDEE
1. Rabbi Levy was walking home from synagogue one Sabbath when he saw Issy, a leader in his congregation, going into ‘The Chinese Crab’ restaurant.
2. As he looked through the window, Rabbi Levy saw Issy order a plate of shrimp, lobsters and crabs (all of which are forbidden). Issy picked up his chopsticks and started eating. 3. Rabbi Levy burst into the restaurant and confronted him. "Issy, just what do you think you are doing, coming in here and ordering this non-kosher food? You’re not only violating all the dietary laws, but you also seem to be enjoying this food!"
4. "Rabbi," says Issy, "did you see me enter this establishment?" "Yes."
5. "And did you see me order this food?" "Yes."
6. "And did you see the waiter bring the food to me?"
"Yes." "And did you then see me eat the food?" "Yes."
7. "Then I don't see a problem, rabbi. Everything was done under full Rabbinical Supervision!"
B. TEXT & THESIS
1. Mark 3:13-17; “13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”).”
2. We’re going to look at an enigma, a person who is the most mysterious of all the 12 Apostles: the Apostle John.
3. He is the mysterious person who leaned on Jesus at the last supper, the only one of the 12 to die a natural death, and who was vouchsafed with the greatest prophetic insight of any person in Scripture.
4. The title of this message is “The 12 Apostles of Jesus: John the Son of Zebedee.”
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. John (Heb. Yohanan- ‘Jehovah is gracious’), son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James, the Apostle. He was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem.
2. He came from a wealthy family because 1). his father had hired servants in his fishing business (Mark 1:20), 2). his mother Salome was a main financial contributor to Jesus (Lk. 8:3), and 3). John was personally known to the high-priest Caiaphas (John 18:15-16).
B. MINISTRY HISTORY
1. He was a member of the Inner Circle of Jesus closest disciples (at Jairus’ Mark 5:37; the Transfiguration, Matt. 17:1; & in Gethsemane, Mark 14:33).
2. He was a man of action – ambitious (Mk. 10:37), fiery (Lk. 9:54) and a man with an explosive temper, hence the name “Boanerges, which means ‘son of Thunder’ (Mk. 3:17). John, however, mellowed with time. In the latter part of his life, he became known as the “Apostle of love.”
3. John followed Jesus, after His arrest, to Caiaphas’ house, entered and stayed during the trial there. He was the only one of the apostles present at the crucifixion.
II. THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED
John never mentions himself in his gospel except as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” In his epistles he calls himself “The Elder;” 2 Jn. 1 & 3 Jn. 1. It’s apparent that he was very close to Jesus.
A. MORE LIKELY TO GET AN ANSWER THAN PETER
John 13:23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. (Q – Who would betray Jesus.)
B. JESUS COMMITTED HIS MOTHER TO JOHN
John 19:26, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son.” It’s thought that John never left Jerusalem until after the death of Mary.
C. FIRST TO RECOGNIZE JESUS, 2ND MIRACULOUS CATCH
John 21:7 “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’” Peter then jumped into the water.
D. RUMORED THAT HE WOULD NEVER DIE
John 21:20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them….23 Jesus did not say that he(I) would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
III. THE DYNAMIC DUO OF ACTS
Mentioned in combination with Peter 13X in Acts.
A. EXPERIENCED PENTECOSTAL FIRE
Acts 1:13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
B. WHO HEALED THE LAME MAN AT BEAUTIFUL GATE? PETER & JOHN!
Acts 3:1 [ Peter Heals a Lame Beggar ] One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.
Acts 3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
Acts 3:4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”
Acts 3:11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade
C. PETER & JOHN PREACHED, STOOD UP
Acts 4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.
Acts 4:3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.
Acts 4:7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!
Acts 4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
D. CONVEYOR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.
Acts 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
E. MENTIONED AS #3 IN JERUSALEM BY PAUL
Galatians 2:9 James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.
IV. AS WRITER OF REVELATIONS
A. QUESTION ABOUT PROPHECY TIMING
1. John was one of the apostles who was intrigued by the timing of Bible prophecy.
2. According to Mark 13:3-4, John asked Jesus privately, while He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
3. He ended up getting the Book of Revelation from Jesus, the final vision that combined most of the other end time predictions into a cohesive whole, giving the timeline of endtime prophetic events. He mentions his name 4X in Revelations – 1:1,4,9; 22:8.
B. HOW THE BOOK CAME ABOUT
1. During the persecution under Domitian, he was taken to Rome. The emperor attempted to have him boiled in a great vat of oil, but lightning struck it.
2. The emperor, afraid, instead banished him to the island of Patmos. He received the Book of Revelation there, was later freed, and returned to Ephesus.
3. Revelation 1:9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
C. SUBSTANCE OF HIS REVELATION
1. Chap. 1-3; Vision of Jesus, Critique of 7 Churches
2. Chap. 4-5; Throneroom in Heaven & Lamb
3. Chap. 6-7; 7 Seals, 4 Horsemen, Redeemed in Heaven
4. Chap. 8-9,15-16; Trumpet/ Bowl Judgments
5. Chap. 12-13; AntiChrist & False Prophet
6. Chap. 17-18; Babylon the Great/ Armageddon
7. Chap. 19-22; 2nd Coming, 1000 yr Reign, Eternity.
V. TRADITION ON JOHN’S END
A. HIS MINISTRY
He preached among the churches of Asia Minor, especially at Ephesus. He stopped the advance of heresy after Paul’s departure.
B. HIS DEATH
1. He wrote the fourth Gospel & 3 epistles. When so old all strength had left him, he was carried to the assemblage of believers and whispered, “Little children, love one another” and died a natural death.
2. One other tradition says that an attempt was made to kill him by giving him a chalice of poison, but God spared him. That’s why his apostolic symbol is a chalice with a snake in it.
A. ILLUSTRATION: 20/20 Vision
1. John was a man who got visions, not only of the future, but visions of Christ. No doubt he had a clear vision of who he was in God.
2. Sally Kennedy, on the other hand, was born with terrible vision. At 7 years old she started wearing glasses. That’s really young and she got teased about them.
3. After she turned forty her vision didn’t improve any. She sought laser surgery so she wouldn’t have to wear tri-focal lenses, but wasn’t a candidate.
4. Then one day she discovered a local shop selling magnifying mirrors. What a great invention! It didn’t make her vision 20/20, but it expanded her vision so great that now she can put on her make-up, unaided!
5. We need that kind of help too – to have our vision expanded so much that we can see ourselves clearly and God’s purposes for us and our families. [Sally I. Kennedy]
B. THE CALL
1. John had some great qualities: spiritual ambition, fervor, boldness, intense love for Jesus, and an expanded vision of God.
2. Let’s pray that God will give us those same qualities so we can rock our world like John did! Prayer time.
SYNOPTIC REFERENCES TO JOHN
Matthew 4:21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,
Matthew 10:2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Matthew 17:1 [ The Transfiguration ] After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
Mark 1:19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.
Mark 1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.
Mark 3:17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”),
Mark 5:37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
Mark 9:2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John
with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.
Mark 9:38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
Mark 10:35 [ The Request of James and John ] Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
Mark 10:41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
Mark 13:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,
Mark 14:33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.
Luke 5:10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Luke 6:14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Luke 8:51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.
Luke 9:28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
Luke 9:49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
Luke 9:54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”
Luke 22:8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”