THOSE WHO WERE THERE, Week 2, The Apostle John

THOSE WHO WERE THERE, Week 2, The Apostle John

Pastor Steve With, Sun Mar 18

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it…So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”       John 1:1-5,14

Matthew 1:1, “This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus…”

Mark 1:1, “This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah…”

Luke 1:1, “Many people have set out to write accounts…”

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I. WHY WE LOVE JOHN

  1. The Celebrated Apostle
  • The Apostle John is the author of five New Testament books: John, 1, 2, and 3 John, and the book of Revelation.
  • John was part of Jesus’ “inner circle” along with Peter and James, 

“In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church.” Galatians 2:9

  • John was given the privilege of witnessing Jesus’ conversation with Moses & Elijah at the Transfiguration. Matthew 17:1-9
  • John ministered with Peter (Acts 3:1, 4:13, 8:14), and He was exiled to the island of Patmos by the Romans, where he received the visions that comprise the book of Revelation.
  • The Apostles John and James were Jesus’ first cousins.  Jesus called them the “Sons of Thunder.” Pointing out their zeal and passion!!
  • The Apostle John is known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

“She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one    whom Jesus loved.” John 20:2

  1. The Rough Stuff
  • John forbid a man to cast out demons in Jesus’ name because he was not part of the twelve (Mark 9:38-41). Jesus rebuked him.
  • John and James,  wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans who refused to welcome Jesus. (Luke 9:54)
  • John asked Jesus if he and his brother could be seated on Jesus’ right and left hands in the kingdom. (Matthew 20:20-24)
  1. John’s Intimacy with Jesus
  • From the Cross, Jesus placed Mary under the Care of John,

“When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, ‘Dear woman, here is your son.’ And he said to this disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from then on this disciple took her into his home.” John 19:26-27

  • John’s is the only gospel that records Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:4). Jesus’ act of servanthood impacted John greatly.
  • John is leaning against Jesus’ at the last supper. John 13:23
  1. John Understood the Need for Humility.
  1. John’s learned compassion & humility at Jesus’ feet.
  2. This willingness to serve others and suffer for the sake of the Gospel must have enabled him to bear his final imprisonment on Patmos: “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.” Revelation 1:9
  1. John was Devoted to the Proclamation of Truth.

No one in Scripture, except the Lord Jesus, had more to say about the concept of truth. John’s joy was proclaiming the truth to others and then watching them walk in it (3 John 4). His strongest condemnation was for those who perverted the truth (1 John 2:4).

  1. He had issues with “false prophets” and “antichrists” who were changing the truth (1 John 2:18, 26, 3:7, 4:1-7). 
  1. John is called the Apostle of Love. “Those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him.” 1 John 2:5

“Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble.” 1 John 2:10

  1. We are God’s Children, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
  1. Believer’s are all called to “Love One Another!”       1 John 3:11
  1. He loved those He Served, “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” 3 John 4

III. John’s 3 Biggest Easter Events

  1. At the Foot of the Cross: John and 3 Mary’s were at the cross. “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved…” John 19:25-26
  2. Jesus’ Mother: Jesus asked John to take care of His Mother Mary from the Cross
  3. Empty Tomb: John was the 1st one to the Empty Tomb, “They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.” John 20:4

Illustration: A lot of people say, “I believe in the resurrection; I just don’t understand it.” George Gallup did a poll that said 84 percent of people who never go to church believe Jesus rose from the dead. It is historical fact; it wasn’t done in secret. The whole city of Jerusalem and the whole Roman Empire knew about it. It was news. If CNN had been there, they would have had it live. There are at least 15 historical references to Jesus meeting people, touching people, and talking with people after he had been crucified. One time he cooked breakfast for some people. One time he talked to about 500 people after he had risen from the dead. A lot of people saw him.

IV. what does Easter mean to John?

  1. It means Four Things:
  1. The Resurrection means Jesus is who he Claimed to Be.

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25

  1. Jesus made some outrageous claims when he was here on earth, yet this one might be the biggest…”If we believe in Him we will live after we die!!” Jesus was either who he said he was, or he was the biggest liar who ever lived.  John believed He was telling the truth, because John was there.  He was the 1st Disciple to the empty tomb, he was the one who walked wi the longest.
  2. One day Jesus cleared the moneychangers out of the temple. They had turned the temple into something like an Concord Drive In flea market, so he drove them all out. They said, “What right do you have to do this?” He said, “Because I’m God.” They said, “Prove it!” He said, “I will. Three days after you kill me, I’m going to come back to life.” He claimed to be God, and his resurrection backs up what he claimed to be.
  1. The Resurrection Means Jesus is the Truth He Claimed to Be.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

  1. That’s a strong claim. He said, “I’m the way.” He didn’t say, I’m one way, I’m a good way, or I’m one of the ways. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” That means any other way is not the truth. He claimed to be God. He said, “No one can get to God the Father except by me.”
  2. Even if you don’t believe Jesus Christ is who he said he was, you still use him as a reference point. God came to earth in the form of a man so we could know what God is like. His name was Jesus Christ. He split all of history into A.D. and B.C. Every time you write a date, Jesus is the reference point. He is who he claimed to be.
  1. The Resurrection Means Jesus has the Power He Claimed to Have.

“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.” John 10:18

  1. No force could keep Jesus in the tomb. The Romans killed him, put him in a tomb, put a stone in front, sealed it with the Roman seal, and posted a 24-hour guard. They were only trying to prevent the inevitable. Jesus said: They can’t stop me. I can give my life away, and I can take it up again.
  2. Maybe that’s where they get the phrase, “you can’t keep a good man down”!
  1. The Resurrection Means Jesus did what he Promised to Do.

“Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again?” John 6:62

  1. The cross was no surprise to Jesus. It was all part of God’s plan.
  2. When you think about it, there’s humor in the Easter story. I mean, how would you feel if you had been the guys who put Jesus to death? You publicly execute this man in front of thousands of witnesses who see him die, then you have him buried, a stone put over his tomb, and a 24-hour guard. Three days later this guy’s up and walking around the city again.
  3. He did what he promised. When God makes a promise, you can count on it. That’s what Easter means. Because Jesus did rise, he is who he said he was, he has the power he said he had, and he keeps the promises he makes.

IV. So what? Why does the resurrection matter?

  1. The resurrection matters because my past can be forgiven.

That’s good news. Have you ever been halfway through a project and wished you could start over? A lot of times people feel that way about life.

2. The resurrection matters because my present problems can be managed.

  • The same power that enabled Jesus to rise from death will help you rise above your problems. The same power God used at the resurrection 2,000 years ago can be used in your life right now.
  • No problem is too big for God. No situation is hopeless if you’ll turn it over to him.

Why does the resurrection matter? Because my past can be forgiven, my present can be managed, and:

  1. The resurrection matters because my future can be secure.
  • One of the universal problems we’ve all got is death. Let’s face it—everybody dies. I’m going to die someday, and so are you. Only a fool would go all through life unprepared for something he knows is inevitable. That doesn’t make sense. But sometimes we get so busy in the here and now, we don’t stop to think about what’s going to come.
  • People don’t like to talk about death. If you don’t believe me, invite your friends over, sit them down, serve them some coffee and pie, and say, “Let’s talk about death.” See what happens.
  • When you get to heaven you’ll say, “God, I can’t get in on my own effort. The only way I can get into heaven is because I’m a friend of Jesus Christ.”

“This is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” John 17:3

That’s what the Bible says. Jesus has already paid for your way to heaven. This is news you can use. A Christian is not somebody who accepts a religion. A Christian is somebody who has a relationship with God.  That is what John had, a relationship with Jesus.  Maybe Jesus’ closest relationship. 

This is what God wants to say to you today: “You matter to me. I understand everything about your life. I know you. I made you, remember? I want to have a relationship with you. I sent my son to die for you. I want you to get to know me.”

John concludes his Gospel with, “This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:24-25