Throughout the human history there have been many saints who have lived among us. They followed Jesus? principles and they did God?s will. One of the earliest saints was St. John, and he lived during the times of Jesus. His childhood and his date of birth are unknown, but it is well known that he was one of the best followers and students of Jesus.
St. John was the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great with whom he was brought up to the trade of fishing. While Jesus was spreading his teachings and his miracles St. John entered public ministry. Then in his first year of public ministry our Lord called him to be an Apostle. He was called to be an Apostle with his brother, as they were mending their nets on the sea of Galilee. St. John was the youngest of all the apostles, and outlived the others.
It is hard to list in details, all the challenges that St. John faced. His challenges were truly followed by God?s will and helped many people. St. John was one of the first ones who understood and studied how a person should live, how should he behave, and how moral his life should be. He was one of the first to follow those holy principles, and show them to others. One of his greatest challenges was writing a gospel.
St. John the Evangelist is mostly known for writing a fourth Gospel. If you would ask any person to list his challenges almost everybody would tell you that he wrote a gospel. It is believed that he wrote a Gospel at the year of 96, after the death of Domitian. His object in writing it he tells us himself: ?These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in His name.? In order to write a Gospel you have to be truly involved in holy life by yourself. St. John went threw Jesus? teachings and he opened himself to Jesus. All of his life he spent by expressing love to others and by implementing Jesus principles. Thus before writing a Gospel, St. John experienced it all on himself. He also wrote three epistles. The first is called catholic, as addressed to all Christians, especially his converts. The other two are short, and directed to particular persons, to Gaius and to local church. The Book of Revelation is also attributed to him.
Writing a Gospel was not the only great challenge that St. John performed in his life. He became the “beloved disciple” and the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of Jesus Passion. He proved it himself by referring to himself in a Gospel with a proud humility as ?the disciple whom Jesus loved.? Jesus would have him present with Peter and James at His transfiguration and His agony in the garden. Also John was chosen to go with Peter into the city to prepare the Last Supper. St. John stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of his mother.
Together with his brother James and with Simon Peter, he formed a kind of inner circle of Three among the Twelve. In that those three were privileged to behold the miracle of the Great Catch of Fish, the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in Gethsemane. So St. John was surrounded with challenges and he applied Jesus principle in every challenge that he faced. Those people who required help and second baptism heard the following word from St. John, ?I will answer for you to Jesus Chris. I am ready to lay down my life for you. I am sent by Christ.? When St. John heard that Christ?s sepulchre was open, he was the first one to see that Christ was indeed risen. He also assisted at the council, which the apostles held at Jerusalem.
Later his life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of Pathmos for a year. When age and weakness grew upon him at Ephesus so that he wasn?t able to preach to the people, he used to be carried to the assembly of the faithful, and every time said to his flock only these words, ?My little children, love one another.? When he was asked why he said it he replied, ?Because it is the word of the Lord, and if you keep it you do enough.? He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died about the year 100.
St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master. He used that virtue in his words and actions. The “beloved disciple” died at Ephesus, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque.
The contribution that St. John made to the Christian community and the world is extremely important. He is the one who will be known forever for his writings and his challenges. He will be never forgotten, as he was the one who passed Jesus teaching to the whole world. He gave his life for the future, so that today we would know how should we live as Christians, and how morally should we behave.
There are a lot of things that I learned from St. John?s life. His writings were very important for Christian history, therefore for millions of people who taught from his writings, and that includes me as well. I learned that loving all people is important but not just loving the once who only give you love. Giving love to God important. I should not worry about my clothes or possessions or what worries I should overcome the next day. God takes care of that. I am a lot different right now. I worry about what I will ware the next day, if I lost something I can panic, when I do not realize that the more I panic the less I have a chance of finding the thing that I have lost. St. john was a great hero and he was willing to give up his life for God and for everyone and for the future. From this I learned that this person really was a hero and he was teaching us how to live the right way in life.
Today there are a lot of Churches and schools build under his name. Today everybody has a lot to learn from St. John. His life is a perfect example for us. He is the one who can change many lives of different people, and influence their behavior. St. John the Evangelist, the ?disciple whom Jesus loved? will be known forever, as Jesus said, ?he shall not die?.