3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the "Getting Acquainted With The 12 Apostles" series.

Series: Getting Acquainted With The 12 Apostles [#3]


Mark 3:17


In some of the famous portraits, such as The Last Supper, John was pictured as an effeminate person; but that does not fit the image of John that I have. John was the youngest of the 12 and was a fisherman. Being a fisherman, he was deeply tanned, rough skinned, and rugged. He was the brother of James, and they were called while mending their nets with their father, Zebedee. James and John immediately left their nets and followed Christ. John was a partner of Peter in the fishing trade.

Mark 3:17 (NIV)

17James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”).

Luke 5:10 (NIV)

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.”

Even more importantly, John became a partner with Peter in fishing for men. John was a part of the inner circle of Apostles.

John was…

1. Ambitious.

Just like his older brother James, John was a man with ambition. Their mother asked Jesus that her sons sit on each side of Jesus at His throne in Heaven.

John was a man of violent temper. The direct route from Galilee to Jerusalem passed through Samaria, and the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. On His last journey to Jerusalem, Jesus took that route. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to make preparations to stay there; but the door was shut. Hospitality was refused and the reaction of James and John was immediate and violent.

Luke 9:54 (NIV)

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?”

John was a man of intolerant spirit. He saw a man who was not one of the apostles casting out demons in Jesus’ name. John forbade the man to carry on this work.

Mark 9:39-40 (NIV)

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us.

Jesus gently told John to let the man be, for he who was not against them was for them. This revealed an intolerant spirit in John and earned him his name Boanerges, son of thunder.

John was…

2. Changed to a man of love.

John became the loved disciple, the apostle of love. Jesus Christ caused a miracle in his life. John learned 3 lessons that helped in this transformation.

John learned from Jesus to…

? Love all people.

Following Jesus day by day, John saw how Jesus showed mercy to others.

John learned from Jesus to…

? Be humble.

John learned from Jesus to…

? Be loyal.

John was leaning on Jesus at the Last Supper. At Jesus’ trial, John was in the courtroom with Jesus. At Calvary he stood by the cross. On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, he ran to the tomb. John was also at the breakfast beside the sea. After Pentecost, John was placed in prison with Peter for preaching the Gospel. During the latter years of John’s life, he was exiled on Patmos as a prisoner of the Romans. Tradition says that he was the pastor of the church at Ephesus. When John was so feeble that he had to be carried, he would always say, “Let us love one another.” And his church would ask, “Why do you always say this?” “It is the Lord’s command.”


I want you to notice some of the factors in John’s change of attitude.

? It was a growing change.

Some people seemed to change overnight; but for John, time played a great part on the molding of his life. Time smoothed the sharp edges of his character. Be patient with the ways of God.

? It was a personal desire.

John wanted to be more Christ like, a man of love. You can be what you want to be.

? Hardship, sorrow, and suffering played a part in the change.

John saw Christ die on the cross, and he saw his own brother, James beheaded by a sword. He saw the persecution of the other apostles and other Christians and suffered persecution himself. Hardships can work for good to transform our lives.

? He allowed God to change him.

As John was changed from a violent, thunderous man to the disciple of love, so Christ can change our lives. Such a change may come gradually as we follow Jesus’ example. It will come if we desire it with all our hearts.

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