John’s Epistles

St John the Evangelist by Bernardo CavallinoWhen the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire
to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them.
. . . And they went on to another village.
Luke 9:51–55a, 56b

If this instance was a window into the temperament of James and John, then perhaps it’s why Jesus called them “Sons of Thunder.”1 While John may have been a hothead as a young man, when you read his letters with their intertwined themes of truth and love, you can see his change into an older man of wisdom who had grown in godliness, and whose zeal had been transformed into a unwavering defense of the truth of the Gospel and steadfast commands and teaching on the Christian life regarding righteousness and love—all couched in deep affection and love for those to whom he wrote: his beloved and little children. Everywhere there is evidence that he was uncompromising in truth, and knew well the New Commandment “to love one another.”

According to Irenaeus, it was at Ephesus that John ‘gave out’ the Gospel, and confuted the heretics, refusing to remain under the same roof as Cerinthus, ‘the enemy of the truth’; and at Ephesus that he lingered on ’till the days of Trajan’, who reigned AD 98–117. Jerome also repeats the tradition that John tarried at Ephesus to extreme old age, and records that, when John had to be carried to the Christian meetings, he used to repeat again and again, ‘Little children, love one another’.2

During Read the Bible Through 2011, I posted my thoughts and reflections as I read. There are links to those posts in quarterly pages under the Bible page in the heading. Some daily readings are listed without a link because there aren’t posts on them or the posts were only reading reminders. There are gaps I’d still like to fill, and because of the wonder of blogging software I can write a post and postdate it back to 2011 while at the same time making it “sticky” so that it temporarily sticks to the top of the front page.

I’ve finished writing my posts on John’s letters, and here are the links. 2 John was written in 2011, but I’ve included it here for continuity. I’ll be making each one in turn sticky for a few days so that it will be here on the front page.

1 John 1–3: We Have Seen & Testify & Proclaim

1 John 4–5: Love

1 John 4–5: Truth

2 John: Walk & Watch

3 John: Truth & Love

Read through and study John’s letters. They are so important. Once when I was helping with beginning a women’s ministry in a young church I suggested that the first Bible study should be 1 John. His words on love and truth speak directly to needs and problems of today.

I think if these letters were read, studied and lived, there would be recognition and turning from today’s false teachers, a newfound uncompromising defense of the Gospel; Christians would give incontrovertible proof of the truth of Gospel—and once again the world would be turned upside down.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1, 2R. V. G. Tasker, “John, The Apostle,” New Bible DictionaryJ. D. Douglas, organizing ed., F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, R. V. G. Tasker, D. J. Wiseman, consulting eds. (Wm. E. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids MI: 1962) 640, 641.

Original content: Copyright ©2013 Iwana Carpenter

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