Summary: This is the fill in the blank for the Bible study from 12 Ordinary Men. See also notes from the Bible Study found in the series of sermons here.
Note: This is a study from the book 12 Ordinary Men by John McArthur an excellent book. This is the fill in the blank outline from Adult Bible Fellowships of First Baptist Church Orion. This is not original but worth posting for study.
Twelve Ordinary Men
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated (ἀγράμματος grammatos ag-ram-mat-os) and untrained (διώτης idiōtēs id-ee-o’-tace) men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. :27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
I. Some general observations about John:
a. One of the most _____________ disciples to us because he wrote such a large portion of the
New Testament. What five books did he write? ____________, ____________, ____________,
b. He was the younger brother of James and shared his ________________. His ________ and
______________ mirrored that of his elder brother.
c. In light of this it is remarkable that John is often called the “apostle of _______.” But love was a quality
he ___________ from Christ, not something that came naturally to him.
II. He learned the _____________ of love and truth.
a. John’s love of __________ is evident in all his writings. He uses the Greek word for truth twenty-five
times in his Gospel and twenty more times in his epistles.
b. But when he was younger, his zeal for truth was lacking in ___________ and compassion for people.
The incident in Mark 9 where John forbade a man to cast out demons in Jesus name is a good
illustration of this (note the context).
c. The truly godly person must ______________ both virtues in equal proportions (Eph. 4:13). As a
mature apostle, John learned the lesson well. His second epistle offers vivid proof of this.
III. He learned the balance of ___________ and ___________.
a. It’s not inherently wrong to aspire to have influence or to desire _________________. But it is wrong to
have ____________ motives, as John apparently did. And it is especially wrong to be ambitious without
also being ______________.
b. In Mark 10:35-37 (one chapter after the incident where John rebuked the man casting out demons)
we find Mark’s description of how James and John asked for ______________ of greatness in the
c. What had Jesus just reminded them of in verse 31?
d. Jesus was referring to His words in Mark 9:35:
e. Coming as it did on the heels of these admonitions from Jesus about _______________, the brothers’
request shows amazing audacity.
f. John did eventually learn the balance between ambition and humility. In fact, humility is one of the
great virtues that comes through in his _______________ (never uses his name in his gospel, the only
gospel to include the foot-washing incident, gentle admonitions and terms of endearment in his epistles
IV. He learned the balance of _____________ and _______________.
a. John had a natural _________ for glory and a natural _______________ for suffering. It is normal to
desire God’s blessing on your future, and only a madman enjoys suffering
b. But if we desire to participate in ____________ glory, we must also be willing to partake of
____________ sufferings. The teachings of Christ in the _____________ and of His apostles in their
______________ make this condition abundantly clear.
c. John experienced his share of suffering: the loss of his brother as the first martyr, the loss of all the
rest of his fellow apostles as they were martyred one by one, his exile to a prison colony on the island
of Patmos, where he lived out most of his years as an elderly man in a cave.
d. What is the relationship between these three lessons and how can we apply this to our lives?
John died, by most accounts, around A.D. 98, during the reign of Emperor Trajan. Jerome says in his commentary on Galatians that the aged apostle John was so frail in his final days at Ephesus that he had to be carried into the church. One phrase was constantly on his lips: “My little children, love one another.” Asked why he always said this, he replied, “It is the Lord’s command, and if this alone be done, it is enough.”