The Holy, Glorious Apostle and Evangelist, Virgin, and Beloved Friend of Christ, John the Theologian was the son of Zebedee and Salome, a daughter of St. Joseph the Betrothed. He was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His Apostles at the same time as his elder brother James. This took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord.
The Apostle John was especially loved by the Savior for his sacrificial love and his virginal purity. After his calling, the Apostle John did not part from the Lord, and he was one of the three apostles who were particularly close to Him. St. John the Theologian was present when the Lord restored the daughter of Jairus to life, and he was a witness to the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor.
During the time of the Last Supper, he reclined next to the Lord, and laid his head upon His breast. He also asked the name of the Savior's betrayer. The Apostle John followed after the Lord when they led Him bound from the Garden of Gethsemane to the court of the iniquitous High Priests Annas and Caiphas. He was there in the courtyard of the High Priest during the interrogations of his Teacher and he resolutely followed after him on the way to Golgotha, grieving with all his heart.
At the foot of the Cross he stood with the Mother of God and heard the words of the Crucified Lord addressed to her from the Cross: "Woman, behold your son." Then the Lord said to him, "Behold your Mother" (Jn 19:26-27). From that moment the Apostle John, like a loving son, concerned himself over the Most Holy Virgin Mary, and he served her until her Dormition (or, “falling asleep”).
After the Dormition of the Mother of God the Apostle John went to Ephesus and other cities of Asia Minor to preach the Gospel, taking with him his own disciple Prochoros. They boarded a ship, which floundered during the time of a terrible tempest. All the travelers were cast up upon dry ground, and only the Apostle John remained in the depths of the sea. Prochoros wept bitterly, bereft of his spiritual father and guide, and he went on towards Ephesus alone.
On the fourteenth day of his journey he stood at the shore of the sea and saw that the waves had cast a man ashore. Going up to him, he recognized the Apostle John, whom the Lord had preserved alive for fourteen days in the sea. Teacher and disciple went to Ephesus, where the Apostle John preached incessantly to the pagans about Christ. His preaching was accompanied by such numerous and great miracles, that the number of believers increased with each day.
During this time there had begun a persecution of Christians under the emperor Nero (56-68). They took the Apostle John for trial at Rome. St. John was sentenced to death for his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Lord preserved His chosen one. The apostle drank a cup of deadly poison, but he remained alive. Later, he emerged unharmed from a cauldron of boiling oil into which he had been thrown on orders from the torturer.
After this, they sent the Apostle John off to imprisonment to the island of Patmos, where he spent many years. Proceeding along on his way to the place of exile, St. John worked many miracles. On the island of Patmos, his preaching and miracles attracted to him all the inhabitants of the island, and he enlightened them with the light of the Gospel. He cast out many devils from the pagan temples, and he healed a great multitude of the sick.
Sorcerers with demonic powers showed great hostility to the preaching of the holy apostle. He especially frightened the chief sorcerer of them all, named Kinops, who boasted that they would destroy the apostle. But the great John, by the grace of God acting through him, destroyed all the demonic artifices to which Kinops resorted, and the haughty sorcerer perished in the depths of the sea.
The Apostle John withdrew with his disciple Prochoros to a desolate height, where he imposed upon himself a three-day fast. During the time of the Apostle John's prayer the earth quaked and thunder rumbled. Prochoros fell to the ground in fright. The Apostle John lifted him up and told him to write down what he was about to say. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord, Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev 1:8), proclaimed the Spirit of God through the Apostle John. Thus in about the year 67 the Book of Revelation was written, known also as the "Apocalypse," of the holy Apostle John the Theologian. In this Book were predictions of the tribulations of the Church and of the end of the world.
After his prolonged exile, the Apostle John received his freedom and returned to Ephesus, where he continued with his activity, instructing Christians to guard against false teachers and their erroneous teachings. In the year 95, the Apostle John wrote his Gospel at Ephesus. He called for all Christians to love the Lord and one another, and by this to fulfill the commands of Christ. The Church calls St. John the "Apostle of Love", since he constantly taught that without love man cannot come near to God.
In his three Epistles, St. John speaks of the significance of love for God and for neighbor. Already in his old age, he learned of a youth who had strayed from the true path to follow the leader of a band of robbers, so St. John went out into the wilderness to seek him. Seeing the holy Elder, the guilty one tried to hide himself, but the Apostle John ran after him and besought him to stop. He promised to take the sins of the youth upon himself, if only he would repent and not bring ruin upon his soul. Shaken by the intense love of the holy Elder, the youth actually did repent and turn his life around.
St. John died when he was more than a hundred years old. He far outlived the other eyewitnesses of the Lord, and for a long time he remained the only remaining eyewitness of the earthly life of the Savior.
When St. John was more than one hundred years old, he took seven of his disciples outside the city of Ephesus, and had each of them carry a shovel. When they reached a certain spot, St. John told them to sit down while he went off and prayed by himself.
After he had finished his prayers, he came back and told them to dig his grave in the form of a cross, as long as he was tall. He laid himself down in the grave and spoke to them. He told his disciple Prochoros that he must go to Jerusalem, where he would end his life.
Then St. John told them to cover him with earth. They embraced him and covered him up to his knees. He embraced them once more, and told them to take some more earth and cover him up to his neck. This they did. Then he told them to place a thin veil over his face, and to embrace him one last time, for they would not see him again in this life. The Apostle surrendered his soul to God, and his disciples buried him and returned to the city.
When the brethren asked them where St. John was, they told them what had taken place. The brethren asked the seven disciples to take them to the grave. When the grave was opened, St. John's body was not there. Only his shoes remained.
Each year from the grave of the holy Apostle John on May 8 came forth a fine dust, which believers gathered up and were healed of sicknesses by it. Therefore, the Church also celebrates the memory of the holy Apostle John the Theologian on May 8.
The Lord bestowed on His beloved disciple John and John's brother James the name "Sons of Thunder" as an awesome messenger in its cleansing power of the heavenly fire. And precisely by this the Savior pointed out the flaming, fiery, sacrificial character of Christian love, the preacher of which was the Apostle John the Theologian. The eagle, symbol of the lofty heights of his theological thought, is the iconographic symbol of the Evangelist John the Theologian. The appellation "Theologian" is bestowed by the Holy Church only to St. John among the immediate disciples and Apostles of Christ, as being the seer of the mysterious Judgments of God.
DID YOU KNOW???
50% of children will lose their faith in college. 3 times more people will become an atheist than will find any faith whatsoever. Join us in our journey restoring faith in Jesus Christ to lost souls. There is a war being fought spiritually speaking. Our mission is to restore people to faith in Jesus Christ, but also equally important, a true understanding of ancient Christian belief and practice. The True God IS TRINITY. This is the truth expressed by the apostles, and it is the truth that we too will express.
JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN †††
Many times we wonder to ourselves, "Is Jesus really alive?" We question our faith because the world tries to tear us down by telling us that Jesus was a mere man. Is that true? If we examine the history, we shall see and be convinced of the TRUTH.
This is the gospel. Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead. It can be historically proven that the Christians were being tortured and killed as early as 49AD. 500 Christians claimed to have seen Christ risen from the dead all at once. Thousands were seeing the miracles. People being raised from the dead, healings by as little as touching Peter's shadow, Handkerchiefs from Paul worked mighty miracles, and prophecy was witnessed in its fulfillment. The early Christians were in a place to know if they were lying. Why would thousands of people make up and lie about Jesus being risen from the dead then get tortured for their lie. They were thrown to lions, they were crucified, they were burned alive, they were skinned alive, and just about every other imaginable torture. Only one conclusion. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.
The TALMUD is an ancient writing that was written by the Jews who put Jesus on trial and sought to kill Him. They hated Jesus, and had no reason to make Him sound better. In this ancient document they accused Jesus of deceiving the people with sorceries. They could not deny His miracles, but had to come up with another explanation because EVERYONE saw and knew He performed miracles. There is no solid basis for denying Jesus was in fact a miracle worker. Even Josephus who was a Jewish historian during that time wrote about Jesus and His miracles. He was writing to please the Romans and He would not have included it if it were not true, because the Romans would not have been pleased with it at all.
JOSH MCDOWELL also has an interesting story. He had actually tried to disprove the bible. When he was in law school some Christians challenged him to disprove the bible. He thought it would be a piece of cake. He was so serious about disproving the scriptures, that he quit school and went to Europe to study in the libraries enriched with material. He even felt that if he could disprove one point the whole thing would be disproven. Needless to say, he was addament and he would not give up easy. Then to everyone's amazement he came back a Christian. What he said was that the historical evidence would prove in the court of law that Jesus Christ is Resurrected from the dead. He has now written many books on the topic and he explains what convinced him. On of the most shocking discoveries he made was that the scriptures were actually written in the first century by the Apostles. He more thoroughly explains this in his book "EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT." (Click the link if you would like to purchase his book: it will be in the Christian books section) He said that if you were to destroy every single Christian New Testament including the ancient manuscripts you could still reconstruct the New Testament using early Church Father quotes of the New Testament except for 11 verses. The fact is that the New Testament is preserved authentically as it is supposed to be. It is not perfect, but close to it. He quotes all of the experts on this subject, and even the liberals have to admit that they could not have been written later than the 2nd century. Yet, even if they were written in the second century, I will explain why they are still accurate. However, Many experts do say that they could not possibly date beyond the first century. Namely because people that were alive in the first century quote the New Testament. Also after studying the book of Acts, they said that Luke was so detailed that when one studies they will find that the book of Acts simply won't fit in a second century setting, only in the first century.
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