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People of the Bible: John

Who was John?

John the apostle was one of Jesus’s earliest followers. He was a part of the original twelve disciples that lived and traveled with Jesus during his earthly ministry. While these twelve were extremely close to Jesus, there were three men who were even closer. John was one of these men, alongside James and Peter. These three men were invited by Jesus to see things the others weren’t. We learn that Jesus had a special relationship with these men and wanted to teach them everything they needed to know.

Another aspect of John’s relationship with Jesus is made clear in the New Testament. John is often referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. John is often pictured sitting close to Jesus. John wanted to experience Jesus as much as he could because he knew he was the source of eternal life. Jesus loved that John sought this relationship and we see that he was often rewarded for it. We see how much Jesus trusted John when he was on the cross. One of Jesus’s last dying wishes was for John to take care of his mother Mary.

After Jesus’s resurrection and ascension, John emerged as one of the main pillars in the early church. There are five books in the New Testament that most people believe John wrote. These books are; the gospel of John, 1,2, & 3 John, and Revelation. Two of John’s main topics in these writings were truth and love. John made it his personal mission to share with everyone what the truth really was and how to live that out in a loving, godly way.

John was so effective in his teaching that many people urged him to stop. His teachings, along with those of his fellow disciples turned the first century world upside down. People were coming to faith in Jesus and becoming mature disciples. This angered those who were in charge at the time because it disrupted their life. Every single one of the disciples died as a martyr (dying for one’s faith), except for John.

It is believed that people tried to kill John by throwing him in a vat of boiling oil, but God saved him from death. Because they could not kill him, the people exiled John to the island of Patmos to live out the rest of his days. During this time, John wrote the book of Revelation where he explains a vision that was given to him from Jesus. In this vision, Jesus lines out what the end of the world will look like.

We learn a lot from John and his life. He teaches us about truth, and love, and what the end times will look like. But more than this, he teaches us what a relationship with Jesus should look like. We are all Jesus’s beloved. Jesus died for us so that we could have an everlasting relationship with him.

Key Takeaways:

John was…

  • In Jesus’s inner circle

  • The one whom Jesus loved

  • A pillar of the Church

Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about John this Sunday, both in-person and online.

Be sure to check out their lesson at

To find service times and locations, visit


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