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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - The Life of John

James Meehan - The Life of John

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    James Meehan - The Life of John

Well, what's up Bible nerds? On today's episode, we're going to look at the life of John, a disciple of Jesus, author of the Bible, and influential leader in the early church. Why? Because we believe that learning the context of the Bible is key to understanding what it means and how to apply it to our lives. And part of the context is knowing who wrote it, who they wrote it to, and why they were writing it in the first place. Not only that, but looking at the life of John is a wonderful example of how the message of Jesus isn't just something that's meant to inform us, but it's actually meant to transform us. Because that's exactly what it did for John.

So who is John? We're gonna look at his life in three stages. The first stage is John the student. The second stage is John the leader. And the final stage is John the author. Starting with John the student. The first time we meet him, he is fishing in a boat with his dad and brother doing ordinary everyday things until something extraordinary happens. Jesus calls him to be a disciple.

We read in Matthew chapter four versus 18 through 22. "One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, also called Peter and Andrew. They were throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, come follow me and I will show you how to fish for people. And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little further up the shore, he saw two brothers, James, and John sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets, and he called them to come too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind".

You see, John was a son of Zebedee and the younger brother of James, he was a fisherman working with his dad until Jesus called him to be a disciple. Early on in his time of following Jesus he was known as a son of thunder. I think it might be because there's this story about John and James literally wanting to call fire down on these Samaritan towns because they did not accept Jesus and believe that he was the Messiah. That's how John's story started. But then later on, as he is writing about his time with Jesus, he started to refer to himself as the one Jesus loved. You see, John started as a student of Jesus, learning what it means to follow him. But then after Jesus' death and resurrection as the early church is beginning, John becomes a leader. He was a leader in the early church. He was an apostle. He was an eyewitness to the resurrection. He saw Jesus rise from the dead, and he was there with him. He touched him with his hands and he saw him with his eyes.

And when Peter was doing a whole lot of incredible things early on John was right there with him. On the day of Pentecost, he was performing miracles in Jerusalem. Eventually, he was even thrown in jail by the Pharisees because of his faith in Jesus. And it's in Acts chapter four, verse 13, where we read these words. We read that, "The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures, but they also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus".

You see, John, just like Peter, his story began as a fisherman. But after three years of being a student of Jesus, when the people who were opposed to the message of Jesus saw him and the way that he responded, they knew there was something special about him. They knew that he had been with Jesus. Later, John would become the pastor to the churches in Asia, helping to lead and raise up leaders preaching the gospel and enduring persecution over on the edges of the Roman Empire. And then we moved to John's final stage; John, the author. Because at some point, John was actually exiled to an island called Patmos. He was plunged into boiling oil for his faith in Jesus during the time of a Roman emperor by the name of Domitian, who ruled from around AD 81 to 96. And it was very likely that during his time in exile on Patmos, that John actually wrote the books of the Bible that are attributed to him.

The Gospel of John, First John, Second John, Third John, and the Book of Revelation. And in the Book of Revelation chapter one, verse nine, John tells us this. He says, "I, John am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God's kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus".

You see, when we look at the life of John, we see somebody whose story started out one way, but towards the end of it, it became something entirely different. He started as an ordinary fisherman, but he was called by an extraordinary savior. And God used him in amazing ways to spread the good news of Jesus to build up the church and to write down some of the amazing things that God did in Jesus so that literally 2000 years later we would be able to read it to know who God is, to know what he's like, and to live in a way that honors the message of Jesus so that we can share the love of God with others. So when we look at the life of John, I think what we're given is a beautiful example of what it could look like for us to be people transformed by Jesus. Because what John did was he followed Jesus wherever he led. What John did was be transformed by the time that he spent with Jesus.

And so I wanna invite you to do what John did, to follow Jesus where he leads you, to let Jesus change you. And all throughout the month of October and November we're gonna be walking through one of John's writings, First John, in our messages that air on this channel every single Wednesday night. And I would love for you to join in with us because through this collection of writing we see John helping us understand what real love really is by introducing to us the love that God has.

So who is John? John is a student of Jesus. He is a leader in the church, and he is an author who wrote down some of the words that God wants us to know today. Because the Bible is God's word for us, but it wasn't originally written to us. And because we are Bible nerds, we know that when we begin to learn who the author is, we can better understand the words that they wrote and how that applies to our lives today. In addition to that, when we look at the life of John we see a powerful picture of how following Jesus can transform us from people who may want to call fire down on our enemies to people who base our entire identity on being loved by Jesus. So take care and stay nerdy.
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