Summary: This is the 13th message in the series on Bible characters. The outlines is 1-John's Person, 2-John's Principles, 3-John's Passion.



This morning, we are continuing with our sermon series entitled, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

And we’ve been talking about the fact that…

--now, more than ever

--no matter who you are, what you’ve done


And what we’ve been doing is looking at the lives of the greats, and seen how they had their CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

And so far, we’ve talked about






--4 Great Women (Mother’s Day)

--Simon the Cyrenian (Father’s Day



Last week, we talked about CLOSE ENCOUNTERS for America

Next week, we’re be looking at the Apostle Peter

But this morning, we’re going to be looking at one of the greatest and most influential apostles of all in the Word of God, and his name is JOHN

With that in mind, let’s read…

John 21:20-25 ( KJV ) 20Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.


Here we find one of the most intimate accounts in all the Word of God between man and God

For we see in the first verse of our text that John was known as the one who “leaned on Jesus breast” at the Last Supper

You talk about…

--Close Encounters


--A love for our Lord

And it was here, leaning on Jesus breast that John could literally hear the heartbeat of our Savior

And I want to come back to that at the end of the message, but for a few moments, let’s talk about THE APOSTLE JOHN

And what I want to do, in trying to discover…

--who he was

--what he was all about

--how he had CLOSE ENCOUNTERS with God

Is to break his life down into 3 parts this morning

I want to talk to you about…

--His person

--His principle

--His passion

First of all, let’s consider…


Who was the Apostle John?

We first read about him when Jesus called him to be his follower

Matthew 4:20-22 ( KJV ) 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

In other words, John and his brother James were out there working on the nets and Jesus came by and said, drop everything and follow me, AND THEY DID!

Think of that – they left…

--their business

--their family

--everything familiar, and they followed Him!

And isn’t that the essence of Christianity – we’re just kind of doing our own thing, and all of a sudden, we get a summons from the SPIRIT OF GOD THAT SAYS FOLLOW CHRIST!

And I’m so glad that I did – when I was 13 years old, I heard those same words, and I’m so glad I did!

And I want you to know that some of you are out there this morning just kind of doing your thing, but Jesus is coming by this morning, and he wants you to follow him

And that’s exactly what JOHN and his brother did

And as we read about them in the Gospels, we find that these two brothers, JAMES AND JOHN were a hand full – they were something else

I mean these were the 2 fellows that…

--wanted to call fire down from heaven in Luke 9:54

--wanted choice seats at Jesus right hand Mark 10:37

John was the one that got upset about someone casting out devils that wasn’t a part of their group in Mark 9:38

I mean, these guys were…

--constantly missing it

--continually messing up





--Type A personality

But oh, let me tell you, before it was all over, these guys, and particularly John went from wanting to call fire down from heaven, to writing over 80 times, MORE THAN ANY OTHER PERSON IN THE BIBLE, about LOVE

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