The Apostle of Love
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. NKJV
Jesus had thousands of followers, admirers. From them He chose 12 to be His special messengers.
Out of the twelve, there was the inner three, Peter, James & John.
Of the inner three, John was specially beloved.
I. John’s History.
A. Compared to Paul and others we really know very little about John.
B. He was raised to work.
1. One of at least two sons of Zebedee and Salome.
2. He was raised to be a fisherman like his father.
3. Although a worker, he was better off than most for his father did have hired servants.
C. He was the youngest of the apostles.
D. He was a disciple of John the Baptist before Jesus was baptized.
E. He was one of Jesus first followers.
F. It is very possible that his mother and Jesus’ mother were sisters.
G. Along with James his brother they were nick named “Sons of Thunder”
1. Once he told Jesus how they had encountered someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name although they did not follow with the disciples. John said we forbade him, for which Jesus rebuked him.
2. It was also James and John who asked the lord if they should call down fire on a town of Samaria for not receiving Jesus as He was passing through.
H. With the involvement of their mother, James and John asked Jesus for the right and left had seats in the kingdom.
I. At Jesus trial John went into the home of the High Priest and took Peter with him.
II. John’s Emphasis on Love.
A. He mentions love more than 80 times in his writings. Lockyer, “All the Apostles of the Bible”
1. God is One of Love (John 5:42; 15:10; See Luke 11:42).
2. God loved His Son (John 10:17; 15:9; 17:23, 24, 26).
3. God loved the disciples of Christ (John 16:27; 17:23).
4. God loves all men (John 3:16).
5. God is loved by Christ (John 14:31)
6. Christ loved the disciples in general (John 13:1-34; 14:21; 15:9.
7. Christ loved individuals (John 11:5, 36; 13:23).
8. Christ expected all men to love Him and God (John 8:42; 14:23).
9. Christ taught that we should love one another (John 13:34, 35; 15:12, 13)
10. Christ emphasized that love is the sum and substance of the Law, and that the Law can be truly kept as one loves God and his fellows (Ex. 20:1-17; Matt. 22:36-40).
B. Somehow John had changed from the hot spirited young man when He comes to understood the love of God.
1. He had seen the personification of God’s love.
2. He saw the compassion Jesus had on the multitudes.
3. He heard the prayer of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem.
4. He had been personally rebuked by Jesus twice for his harsh attitude.
C. Somehow he had developed a capacity for love.
1. Paul does talk about those who are without natural affection. 2 Tim 3:3
2. Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God : these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. KJV
3. John taught that love and obedience go hand in hand. 1 John 2:4-6 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. NKJV
4. In his epistle of 1 John he uses the word love 45 times. See attached sheet.
We are each to one degree or another like a rock or a sponge. Either we soak up love or we do not. But it is sure that we can never give out more than we absorb.
Love in First John
1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. NKJV
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. NKJV
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. NKJV
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, NKJV
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. NKJV
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. NKJV
1 John 3:23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. NKJV
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. NKJV
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. NKJV
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. NKJV