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THE POWER TO CHANGED LIVES

JOHN THE SON OF THUNDER

John 14:1-24 John 13:34

PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

1. To be conformed to the image of Christ, BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS.

2. Call people to Christ as Saviour.

3. Worship

4. Discipleship

5. Changed lives.

INTRO:

The aftermath of the massacre at Columbine High School followed a predictable pattern:

First came teams of police investigators. Then came the grief counselors, more than 100 of them, ready to help the survivors deal with their anguish.

But as it turned out, the counselors had no one to counsel. Not because the kids weren't grieving, but because they were turning to a more effective grief counselor:

THE CHURCH

Take the example, Patrick Simington. Like his schoolmates at Columbine High. Patrick was offered the services of professional grief counselors. But instead of talking to the counselors, Simington joined his friends at a memorial service at the Light of the World Roman Catholic church.

Patrick's mother told the Washington Times that what is really helping him get through this crisis "is his faith."

Laurean Johnson was encouraged by her parents to seek out a professional counselor. Instead she turned to the staff at West Bowles Community Church, the home church of shooting victim Cassie Barneall. Johnson told reporters, "I just like it better this way. And she added, "It seemed like most of the kids from the school were there."

As the Washington Times notes, "Many Columbine students are bypassing offers of secular therapy and turning instead to their churches." Grief counselors wait in vain for kids to knock on their doors, while pastors and church youth leaders have been overwhelmed by kids, parents, and others coming for help.

Why? Secular grief counselors can give kids information, but as Christians we can give them guidance, and comfort.

The secular grief counselors can help people sort through their own feelings, but their model originated in SIGMUND FREUD, which offers no life after death, no hope, no explanation of why, no comforter to deal with the soul.

I want us to look at the life of the man who gave us hope, who has written words that give meaning to life. A man who wrote the words of Jesus, such wonderful words as: 14:1- "LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED; BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME. IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY DWELLING PLACES; IF IT WERE NOT SO, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU; FOR I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU; I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; THAT WERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO;

11:25 I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE; HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME SHALL LIVE EVEN IF HE DIES; AND EVERYONE WHO LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE.

The Apostle John gives us the words of Jesus, that gives meaning to this life

John Tells us that Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT life. Enjoy life now.

John Tells us that Jesus came to give us ETERNAL life. Enjoy life in the future.

John writes some of the greatest truths ever revealed about God.

14 Times John uses the Old Testament name for God to show that Jesus Christ is God.

Have you ever wondered, can God uses some people. Can he use you or me?

There are people who have wrecked their lives with sin.

They were involved in drugs, or Alcohol, or immorality.

But Jesus Christ reached down when they were the lowest and changed them and used them in His kingdom to reach others.

Of the 12 apostles there were three who seemed to form an inner circle: Peter, James and John.

They were the closest to Jesus. Jesus changed their lives.

I. THE PASSION

Usually, when people think about John, they think of some meek, mild, pale-skinned, effeminate guy, lying around with his head on Jesus' shoulder, looking up at the Master with a dove-eyed stare.

If this is your image of John you've missed it!

1. James and John were brothers, John was the younger.

2. His name means "WHOM JEHOVAH LOVES"

3. They came from a Godly family and were cousins of Christ. (His wife and Jesus' mother were  sisters)

4. Their mother was Solome.

5. Their father Zebedee was in the fishing businesses.

6. James and John worked in the family business with Peter and Andrew.

7. There is in the back streets of Jerusalem a dark little hovel now, an Arab coffeehouse, which contains stones and arches, that were once part of an early Christian Church. The Franciscan tradition is that this Church was erected on the site of a house which had belonged to Zebedee, the father of St John. This family, said the Franciscan, were fish merchants of Galilee, with a branch office in Jerusalem, from which they used to supply, among others, the family of the High Priest.

This would explain how John was known to the doorkeeper of the high priest's house, and it would also explain how Zebedee's fishing business was prosperous enough to enable him to employ hired servants in addition to his sons (Mark 1:20).

8. He wrote the gospel of John, 3 Epistles bearing his name and the Book of Revelation.

9. He died when he was almost one hundred years of age.

II. THE CHARACTER- THEIR NICK NAMES - SONS OF THUNDER

John is an example of how God can change a life.

If you had known James and John as boys and young men you would have said to yourself there is no way God can use those two hot tempered boys.

Both boys nick name was SON OF THUNDER.

Both had a very short fuse, To be around him was like being in a thunder storm.

You never knew when you would see Lighting and thunder.

 There is an old Arabian Proverb, "Anger is a wind that blows out the lamp of the mind."

  He who loses his head usually is the last one to miss it. --Anonymous

  Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored then to anything on which its poured. --Calendale,

Anger comes out of FEAR, FRUSTRATION, AND HURT.

Many people like John are struggling with anger, because of Fear, Frustration & Hurt.

THEY ARE HOT TEMPERED, THEY HAVE VERY SHORT FUSES

My guess is they came from a family where there was a lot of yelling and screaming.

 MOOD MACHINE

Two kids were examining some bathroom scales. "What's it for?" one asked.

I don't know," the other answered. "I think you stand on it and it makes you Angry

 The instructor of a company-sponsored first-aid workshop asked a participating employee, "What's the first thing you'd do if you learned you had rabies."

Replied the employee, without hesitation: "I'd bite my supervisor."  

How can God use a man who is known for his hot temper?

James and John were brothers with Fire engine red hot tempters.

They both had such short fuses that they were known as

THE SONS OF THUNDER

* John was not born with a loving heart, nor was he reborn with it. Some find it easier to love than others, but all of us know that truly to love, someone else is something that must grow in life.

As God changed James & John so he can change you!

1. ANGER AT OUTSIDERS Mark 9:38

It's interesting to note that the only time John's name appears alone in the Gospels,

HE'S MAD AT SOMEBODY.

In Mark 9, we find John mad at some guy who was casting out demons. In verse 38, John said to Jesus,

"MASTER, WE SAW ONE CASTING OUT DEMONS IN THY NAME, WE TRIED TO STOP HIM BECAUSE HE WAS NOT FOLLOWING US."

 

In other words, John said, "LORD I TOLD HIM TO QUIT BECAUSE HE WASN'T IN OUR GROUP."

John was mad at the man casting out demons because he wasn't one of the Twelve!

Jesus rebuke those people who are not in our circle, tell them they have to join our group before God can use them!

2. ANGER OVER REJECTION Luke 9:51-56

The direct route from Galilee to Jerusalem necessarily passes through Samaria, and the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. On his last journey to Jerusalem Jesus took that route. He sent on messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to make preparations to stay there; but the ancient enmity produced the shut door, and hospitality was discourteously refused. The reaction of James and John was immediate and violent: V54 "LORD, DO YOU WANT US TO COMMAND FIRE TO COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND CONSUME THEM, EVEN AS ELIAS DID?

" Zap those people!

Jesus had to remind them that they were followers of one who had come, not to destroy, but to save (Luke 9:51-56).

It was no doubt for this reason that John and James received their nickname BOANERGES SONS OF THUNDER as Jesus called them (Mark 3:17). They must have been violent and explosive characters, with tempers on a hair trigger and with voices ready to thunder out in denunciation and condemnation.

John was sectarian, narrow-minded, unbending, and ridiculously intolerant; but these characteristics become a strength in his character because he had a tremendous capacity for love. Someone who has a great capacity for love but has no sense of the truth, no limits, no guidelines, and no strong convictions becomes a disaster of tolerance and sentimentality.

Its' obvious that God chose John to be the greatest New Testament writer concerning because he was strong and uncompromising.

Otherwise, love would have been turned into sentimentalism.

The heresy of SITUATIONAL ETHICS that rules our country today is the result of the teaching of Love without truth.

Truth without love leads to legalism, coldness, harshness.

For someone to speak the truth in love, he has to be as much committed to the truth as he is to love, and John was committed to both.

AT THE END OF HIS LIFE JOHN IS KNOWN AS THE APOSTLE OF LOVE.

So there is hope for us, God is still working on us to change us.

Spending time with Jesus softened John.

3. JOHN WAS SELFISH AND LOOKED OUT FOR HIMSELF. Matt. 20:21

In Matt. 20:21 James and John talk their mother into asking Jesus to promise that when he enters His kingdom Jesus will hold a special place of position for James to be on the left as an advisor and John to be on the right as an advisor and head of the kingdom.

At the end of his life he is more concerned about others, than himself.

III. THE CALL = TO BE A DISCIPLE

John was a fisherman by trade, and it was while he and his brother James were engaged in mending their nets in the boat by the lakeside with their father that Jesus called them (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19). Jesus call for most people comes when they are busy in their everyday work. For some the call is to leave your work and follow Jesus full time.

For others the call is to stay at your work and follow Jesus full time while the employer pays you.

You need just as much a call from God to be a preacher as to be an software Engineer.

John's connection with Peter was specially close, for Peter was John's partner in the fishing trade (Luke 5:10).

We find John going to Peter's house after the Sabbath service in Capernaum (Mark 1:29); and in the last days we find Peter and John being sent out together to prepare the last Passover feast for Jesus and the other disciples (Luke 22:8). As we shall see, in Acts in the early days of the Church, Peter and John were always acting together, and Peter was always the spokesman for the two. They were partners in the fishing boat and they were partners in the task of being fishers of men (Mark 1: 17).

It would seem that John, before he became a disciple of Jesus, had been a disciple of John the Baptist. The Fourth Gospel tells of the two disciples of that John who followed Jesus, when he pointed him out as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. One of these disciples is named as Andrew; the other is not named at all, and the natural conclusion is that the unnamed disciple is John himself (John 1:35-40). Along with Peter and James, John became one of the inner circle of the apostolic band. John was one of the disciples who was closest to Jesus; it may be he was closest of all.

IV. THE MINISTRY  INSIGHTS INTO THE LIFE OF AN APOSTLE

1. JOHN WENT TO EMPHASIS AND PASTORED THE CHURCH FOR 25 YEARS

1) In Ephesus there was an arch-heretic called Cerinthus. He was a Docetist; that is to say he taught that Jesus never had a flesh and blood body but was only a phantom walking in the appearance of a man. Such a belief was destructive of the whole Christian faith, and it was anathema to anyone who believed that the Word was made flesh (John 1:14; cf. I John 4:3). Irenaeus tells us that one day John was going to bathe in the bathhouse in Ephesus when he learned that Cerinthus was already in it. "

LET US FLEE," he exclaimed,

"LEST EVEN THE BATHHOUSE FALL DOWN, BECAUSE CERINTHUS THE ENEMY OF TRUTH IS THEREIN" (Against Heresies, 3, 3, 4). The fire of the old days never died in John's heart.

2) The second story of the days in Ephesus is passed down to us by Clement of Alexandria.

Once in visiting a certain congregation John saw within it a most handsome young man "of refined appearance and of ardent spirit." Pointing at the youth, John said to the bishop of the congregation, "This man I entrust to your care with all earnestness in the presence of the church and of Christ as witnesses." The bishop accepted the trust and pledged himself to it. He took the youth into his own home, cherished him, taught him and finally baptized him. Then he relaxed his care and vigilance too soon. The youth fell into evil company who seduced him into dissolute luxury and taught him to be a robber.

The young man grew accustomed to this new kind of life. "Like a restive and powerful horse which starts aside from the right path and takes the bit between its teeth, he rushed all the more violently because of his great nature towards the pit." The youth himself decided that he had drifted beyond the mercy of God, and he organized a robber band of which he became chief, "the most violent, the most blood-thirsty, the most cruel."

There came the day when John revisited the church in which he had first seen the youth. He said to the bishop "Now, bishop, return to us the deposit which Christ and I entrusted to your care in the presence and with the witness of the church over which you preside." The bishop was amazed, thinking at first that it was some entrusted money that John was talking about. "It is the youth," said John "and the soul of our brother that I demand back." With sorrow in his voice, the bishop answered, "The man is dead." "By what death did he die?" demanded John. "He is dead to God," said the bishop, and went on to tell how the youth had slipped from grace, and had become a robber chieftain. John rent his clothes. "A fine guardian of our brother's soul it was that I left" he said.

John called for a horse and a guide and rode straight from the church to find the youth. When he came near to the headquarters of the robber band he was captured by the robber's sentries. He made no effort to escape. "IT WAS FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE THAT I CAME ," he said. " TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER ." So he was brought to the leader, who was waiting fully armed, but when he recognized John, he was smitten with shame and turned and fled from his presence. Forgetting his old age, John pursued him. "WHY DO YOU FLEE FROM ME, MY CHILD," he said, "

FROM YOUR OWN FATHER, FROM ME A POOR, OLD, UNARMED MAN?

 Have pity upon me, and do not fear. You have still hope of life. I myself will give account to Christ for you. If need be, I will willingly undergo your penalty of death, as the Lord did for us. I will give my own life in payment for yours. Stand Believe Christ has sent me"

On hearing this the youth threw away his weapons and fell to trembling and to tears. With bitter contrition he repented, and John assured him that he had found pardon with his Saviour for him. He prayed with him; he brought him back to the church; he never ceased to keep his grip upon him; and in the end the young man was so changed by Christ that he became the BISHOP of the congregation (Clement of Alexandria, The Rich Man's Salvation, 42).

Have you made a commitment to someone else like John did to this young man?

Surely there never was a more characteristic story of John, for in it the old anger is used to the glory of Christ by the new love.

V. THE NEED FOR A HOBBY AND TO RELAX

We can also learn from John to take time to relax.

We live in a pressure cooker world, where it is almost a sin to relax.

The old statement "Satan never takes a day off why should you."

But Satan is not human, and you and I are.

JOHN HAD A HOBBY OF RAISING DOVES OR PIGEONS.

It is said that while John was gently stroking a partridge with his hands, he suddenly saw a philosopher approaching him, in the dress of a hunter. The philosopher was astonished that a man of such great fame and reputation should demean himself to such paltry and trivial amusements, and said:

"Can you be that John whose great and famous reputation attracted me also with the greatest desire for your acquaintance? Why then do you occupy yourself with such poor amusements?"

John answered him: "What is that you are carrying in your hand?" "A bow" answered the other. "And why," said John, "do you not carry it everywhere bent?"

The other answered: "That would not do for the force of its stiffness would be relaxed, if it were continually bent, it would be lessened and destroyed, and when the time came for it to send stouter arrows after some beast, its stillness would be lost by the excessive and continuous strain, and it would be impossible for the more powerful bolts to be shot."

"So, my lad," said John, "do not let this slight and short relaxation of my mind disturb you, as, unless it sometimes relieved and relaxed the rigor of its purpose by some recreation, the spirit would lose spring owing to the unbroken strain, and would be unable when need required, implicitly to follow what was right." (Conferences, 24, 21.)

"The bow that is bent will soon cease to shoot straight" that, too, may well have been something which the intense nature of John learned in the mellowing of age.

There is one other fragment of tradition which Jerome has handed down to us.

VI. THE THEME OF HIS LIFE= Jesus Christ exalted

When John tarried in Ephesus to extreme old age, and could only with difficulty be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples, and was unable to give utterance to many words, he used to say no more at their several meetings than this: "LITTLE CHILDREN, LOVE ONE ANOTHER." At length the disciples and fathers who were there, wearied with always hearing the same words, said:

"MASTER, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS SAY THIS?

IT IS THE LORD'S COMMAND,' was his reply, "and, if this alone be done, it is enough." (Commentary on Galatians, 6, 10.)

In the end John had forgotten everything except his Lord's command of love.

John is the supreme example of how Jesus Christ can take a man as he is and use his natural gifts and powers and temperament for greatness. Power itself is always neutral. Power becomes good or bad according to the mind and heart of the person by whom it is controlled and used. In John there was always power, and the power was united with loveliness when it was controlled by Jesus Christ.

VII. THE TEACHING

Two words characterize John's life and teaching: WITNESS

He uses the word more than 80 TIMES, and    the word WITNESS, in one form or another, almost 70 TIMES John was the witness to the truth and the teacher of love-the personification of speaking the truth in love. He was the truth-seeker, the discoverer, the visionary; and the reason he is seen as learning on Christ's breast was not because of some sloppy sentimentalism, it was because his heart literally hungered for the truth, and because of his deep affection for Christ. he wanted to gather every word that came out of the Lord's lips as well as bask in the light of His love.

John became a lover, but a lover whose love was controlled by the truth. His control was born out of his tremendous zeal, passion and strength that was in his fiery character Read I, II, III John and see how he denounces the Antichrists who stand up in the church to twist and pervert God's Word. He's firm and strong.

The Letter of I JOHN is written as a gage to use to test if someone is a true Christian.

The early church as well as today faces many false teachers. How do you recognize them?

II JOHN  is written to tell people when a false teacher comes to your house Bolt the door v10 least he deceive you. They were too loving and hospitable and people were taking advantage of the believers.

III JOHN  is written to tell people to open the door of their homes because those who read II John went too far and excluded fellow believers.

Read the Gospel of John and see how he contrasts the people of God against the people of Satan...the redeemed against the lost...the riotous against the unrighteous.

John knew where the lines were drawn so his love never turned into sentimentalism.

A. CHARACTERIZED BY LOVE HIS TITLE OF LOVE

We don't see much about John in the other Gospels unless it's with James. But in his own Gospel, he appears several times...always the same ways. When we are first introduced to John he is pictured as promoting himself, wanting to make sure he was give the place of prestige and recognition in Jesus Kingdom.

But we find a changed man. A transformed man

a) John 13:23 - 'NOW THERE WAS LEANING ON JESUS BOSOM ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES,

WHOM JESUS LOVE.

 Throughout his Gospel, John never uses his name. He must refers to himself as the disciple "WHOM JESUS LOVED."

b) John 19:26- "WHEN JESUS, THEREFORE SAW HIS MOTHER, AND THE DISCIPLE STANDING BY, WHOM HE LOVED, HE SAITH UNTO HIS MOTHER, WOMAN BEHOLD THY SON!"

C) John 20:2a - 'THEN SHE RUNNETH, AND COMMETH TO SIMON PETER, AND TO THE OTHER DISCIPLE, WHOM JESUS LOVED..."

d) John 21:7a - 'THEREFORE, THAT DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED SAITH UNTO PETER, IT IS THE LORD"

e) John 21:20a, 24a - "THEN PETER, TURNING ABOUT SEETH THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED , FOLLOWING WHO ALSO LEANED ON HIS BREAST AT SUPPER...THIS IS THE DISCIPLE WHO TESTIFIETH OF THESE THINGS AND WROTE THESE

THINGS.."

 In other words, it was "THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED" who wrote the Gospel of John.

John was literally in awe that Jesus loved him. He wasn't being proud or boastful, having the perspective: "Oh, the Lord loves me so much because I'm so wonderful. I just want you to know that I'm the disciple that Jesus loved."

Actually, his perspective was just the opposite. He was amazed that Jesus loved the one who wanted to burn up all the Samaritans, and who wanted the place of honor in the Kingdom that he didn't even deserve. John's reference to himself as "

 

THE DISCIPLE WHO JESUS LOVED" was basically his way of emphasizing God's grace in his life.

There was something special about John.

Jesus never had to ask John if he loved Him..but He did have to ask Peter (John 21:15-17).

Jesus never had to ask John to follow Him. ..but he did have to ask Peter (John:22)

When it came down to passing out the work, Jesus said to Peter, "FEED MY SHEEP" (John 21:16-17

But he told John to take care of His mother (John 19:26-27)

Tradition tells us that John never left the city of Jerusalem until Mary, the mother of Jesus, died; thus keeping his vow to the Lord.

3. HIS THEOLOGY OF LOVE

The Gospel of John reveals Jesus Christ as the Son of God who loves the world and came to take away the sins of the world.

John uses the "I AM" statement of Ex 3 where God appears to Moses on the Mt. and Moses ask Who are you Lord? God replies "

Jesus uses that sacred name of God and applies it to Himself 14 times in John.

1. 4:25 I AM THE MESSIAH

2. 6:20 I AM DO NOT BE AFRAID

3. 6:35 I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE

4. 8:12 I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

5. 8:23 I AM FROM ABOVE

6. 8:28 I AM THE SON OF MAN

7. 8:58 I AM BEFORE ABRAHAM

8. 10:7 I AM THE DOOR

9. 10:1 I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD

10.10:25 I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

11.13:19 I AM HE

12.14:6  I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

13.15:1  I AM THE TRUE VINE

14.18:6  I AM HE The solders feel backward at the revelation of who He was.

JOHN'S THEOLOGY OF LOVE CAN BE SUMMARIZED INTO 10 STATEMENTS:

1. God is a God of love (John 5:42; 15:10)

2. God loved His Son (John 10:17; 15:9; 17:23-24,26)

3. God loved Christ's disciples (John 16:27; 17:23)

4. God loves all men sent His Son. (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; 15:9-10)

7. Christ loved individuals (John 11:5, 36; 13:23)

8. Christ expected all men to love Him (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 fulfilling of the whole Law (Jn. 15:10, I Jn. 3:23-24)

THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

Judgement of God upon the earth. = How it will all end.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ in his condmnation of the 7 churches.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ in his condmnation & judgement of the world.

The Revelation of How history will end.

Jesus Christ will be the victor, Satan will be defeated, Believers will rule and reign with Christ.

Domitian, an anti-Christian Roman ruler, thought he was slowing the expansion of the gospel when he had the apostle John banished to Patmos.  But God was in control, for it was on that island that He gave John the vision that resulted in the book of the Revelation.  And Augustus, an earlier ruler who called for a census in order to consolidate his empire, made it possible for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem rather than in Nazareth.  Again, God directed the decision, and prophecy was fulfilled.

4. CHARACTERIZED BY TRUTH

Another important aspect of John's character was his clear perception of truth. He uses the word WITNESS 30 times, and its congate words record and testify (or testimony) 13 and 25 times respectively. He was constantly affirming the witness of the truth. For example, he speaks of:

1) The witness of John the Baptist (John 5:32-33)

2) The witness of Scripture (John 5:39)

3) The witness of the Father (John 5:39

4) The witness of Christ Himself (John 8:14)

5) The witness of Christ's miracle (John 5:36)

6) The witness of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26

7) The witness of the Apostles (John 15:27)

John was always speaking the He was a fiery lover whose love was a passionate devotion to the truth.

If you want theology, read Paul

If you want ethics, read James

If you want to know about love, read John.

What kind of people does God use?

What kind of people did Christ draw into intimacy with Him?

When the God of the universe-the living, eternal, almighty, holy God-walked in this world, what were the 4 men like who became His intimates?

1. Was a DYNAMIC, strong, bold leader like who took charge, initiated, planned, strategized, confronted and commanded people to Christ.

2. Another was a HUMBLE GENTLE inconspicuous man like ANDREW, who saw people as individuals, not crowds; and while he never attracted a mob, he kept bringing people to Jesus.

3. The Lord also picked a ZEALOUS passionate, uncompromising, insensitive, ambitious man like , who could see a goal and strive for it with all his might even if died in the process.

4. And then there was SENSITIVE, loving, believing, intimate, who sought the truth and then spoke the truth in love so that he attracted people to Christ. The Lord made these men fishers of men, in spite of what they were.

John, was banished to the isle of PATOMES after a long life, died around 98 A.D. during the reign of Trojan. Those who know him best said their remembrance of John was a phrase that he constantly used: "MY LITTLE CHILDREN, LOVE ONE ANOTHER." What kind of people does God use?

Ordinary people-with all the struggles, all the strengths, and all the weaknesses of people like us.  It's not what you are that's important, the issue is what you are willing to become. The fishermen of Galilee became fishers of men on a tremendous scale, gathering many souls into the church. In a sense, they're still casting their nets into the sea of the world-by their testimony of Jesus in the Gospels and in the Epistles. they a re still bring multitudes to become disciples of Him among whose first followers they had the privilege to be numbered. Christ took very common men and made them into very uncommon Apostles, and he can do a similar work in our lives today.

DISCIPLESHIP IMPLIES LOVE.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, the disciple to whom our Lord entrusted his mother as he died on the cross, writes more aobut love than any other subject. He quotes Jesus' words,

A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; BY THIS SHALL YE KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES."

It is to John that we owe the most-loved verse in the Bible, found in John 3:16.

"GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE.

I John He wrote: "BELOVED, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER; FOR LOVE IS OF GOD."

BEHOLD, WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HATH BESTOWED UPON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED SONS OF GOD."

BELOVED, IF GOD SO LOVED US, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER."

Someone has said, "It is no chore for me to love the whole world. My only real problem is to love my next door neighbor."

As Gustave Dore was putting the finishing touches to the face of Christ in one of his paintings, a friend said, "You must love Him very much to be able to paint Him thus." "Love Him, madam?"

exclaimed Dore, "I do love Him, but if I loved Him better I could paint Him better. Yes! If we loved Him better we could reflect His life better, serve Him better. If we loved Him better we would inevitably love others better.

He drew a circle and shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to gloat.

But love and I had a will to sin-

We drew a circle and took him in!

That is the center of Christ's gospel, of John's gospel and Letters

CONCLUSION

1. GOD IS CALLING YOU

2. GOD CALLS YOU TO A MINISTRY

3. GOD CALLS YOU TO TRUTH AND LOVE

 

JOHN SERMON Joy Evang. Free Church May 30, 1999

         -   <page>   -

THE POWER TO CHANGED LIVES

John 14:1-24

INTRO:

I. THE PASSION

II. THE CHARACTER- THEIR NICK NAMES - SONS OF THUNDER

1. Anger At Outsiders

2. Anger Over Rejection

3. Selfish, Look Out For Self

III. THE CALL

IV. THE MINISTRY

Insights Into The Life Of An Apostle

John The Pastor

V. THE NEED

HOBBY AND TO RELAX

VI. THE THEME OF HIS LIFE

JESUS CHRIST EXALTED

VII. THE TEACHING

1. LOVE 80 TIMES

2. WITNESS 70 TIMES

3. HIS THEOLOGY

1. 4:25

I AM THE MESSIAH

2. 6:20             I AM DO NOT BE AFRAID

3. 6:35             I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE

4. 8:12             I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

5. 8:23             I AM FROM ABOVE

6. 8:28             I AM THE SON OF MAN

7. 8:58             I AM BEFORE ABRAHAM

8. 10:7             I AM THE DOOR

9. 10:10 I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD

10.10:25 I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

11.13:19 I AM HE

12.14:6  I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

13.15:1  I AM THE TRUE VINE

14.18:6 

I AM HE

THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

4. CHARACTERIZED BY TRUTH

CONCLUSION

1. GOD IS CALLING YOU

2. GOD CALLS YOU TO A MINISTRY

3. GOD CALLS YOU TO TRUTH AND LOVE

JOHN Powerpoint

One of the most famous paintings in the world is Leonardo da Vinci's "

LAST SUPPER

But, looking at his characteriziations of the disciples, one cannot but wonder where he got his models, and why he selected them. One of the least likely faces is that of John, who is leaning upon Jesus' breast. How could the artist conceive of John as the effeminite creature whom he portrays?

John was a fisherman.

I picture him as a young man (he was probably the youngest of the 12), deeply tanned, with dark skin roughened by the sea air, from being outside working, under a hot sun.

 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

It's true, we fight.  But we've never gone to bed mad.  Of course, one year we were up for three solid months.

A MOUTH PROBLEM

He's what you call a button--always popping off at the wrong time.

THE SILENT TREATMENT

At a sales convention a salesman received a telegram which he opened and immediately threw in a wastebasket. 

Asked a friend, "Who was the telegram from?"  "My wife."  The friend took the letter from the wastebasket and looked at it. "Why, there's nothing written on it. It's just a blank piece of paper."  "I know," answered the salesman. "My wife got mad at me when I wouldn't let her come to the convention.  Now, she's not speaking to me."

MOOD MACHINE

Two kids were examining some bathroom scales. "What's it for?" one asked.

I don't know," the other answered.  "I think you stand on it and it makes you mad."

RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

A counselor asked a camper, "What is righteous indignation?"  He thought for a moment and said, "That's to get real mad and not cuss."

RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

Righteous indignation--jealousy with a halo.

MARRIAGE VOWS

Steve:  Did you hear about the couple that made a vow when they got married that they would never go to bed angry? Dave:  Have they stuck by it?  Steve:  Yeah, but they haven't had any sleep in the last three weeks!

 When Leonardo da Vinci was working on his painting, "The Last Supper," he became angry with a certain man.

Losing his temper he lashed the other fellow with bitter words and threats. Returning to his canvas he attempted

to work on the face of Jesus, but his shame and guilt hindered his efforts. Finally, he put down his tools and sought out the man and asked his forgiveness. The man accepted his apology, and Leonardo was able to return to his workshop and finish painting the face of Jesus.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME...

Your Problem: When you get angry it is because you are ill-tempered.

My Situation: It just happens that my nerves are bothering me. 

Your Problem: When you don't like someone it is because you are prejudiced.

My Situation: I happen to be a good judge of human nature. 

Your Problem: When you compliment someone it is because you use flattery.

My Situation: I only encourage folks. 

Your Problem: When you take a long time to do a job it is because you are unbearably slow and pokey.

My Situation: When I take a long time it is because I believe in quality workmanship. 

Your Problem: When you spend your paycheck in 24 hours, it is because you are a spendthrift.

My Situation:  When I do, it is because I am generous. 

Your Problem: When you stay in bed until 11 A:M., it is because you are lazy, good-for-nothing.

My Situation:  When I stay in bed a little longer, it is because I am totally exhausted.

Anger is just one letter short of danger. <Unknown>

Folks who fly into a rage always make a bad landing. <Unknown>

In the end, they say, he was buried, but even in the grave he was still alive. It was said, says Augustine, that "he showed that he was still alive by the movement of the dust above, which was stirred by the breath of the saint." And Augustine piously adds: "I think it needless to contest the Opinion. Those who know the place must see whether the soil is so affected as it is said; since I have heard the story from men not unworthy of credence." (Tractates on John, 124, 2.)

ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SON OF THUNDER

Who Became the Apostle of Love

JOHN WAS THE SON OF ZEBEDEE AND THE brother of James. He was a fisherman by trade, and it was while he and his brother James were engaged in mending their nets in the boat by the lakeside with their father that Jesus called them (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19). John's connection with Peter was specially close, for Peter was John's partner in the fishing trade (Luke 5:10). We find John going to Peter's house after the Sabbath service in Capernaum (Mark 1:29); and in the last days we find Peter and John being sent out together to prepare the last Passover feast for Jesus and the other disciples (Luke 22:8). As we shall see, in Acts in the early days of the Church, Peter and John were always acting together, and Peter was always the spokesman for the two. They were partners in the fishing boat and they were partners in the task of being fishers of men (Mark 1: 17) .

It would seem that John, before he became a disciple of Jesus, had been a disciple of John the Baptist. The Fourth Gospel tells of the two disciples of that John who followed Jesus, when he pointed him out as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. One of these disciples is named as Andrew; the other is not named at all, and the natural conclusion is that the unnamed disciple is John himself (John 1:35-40). Along with Peter and James, John became one of the inner circle of the apostolic band (cf. page 18). John was one of the disciples who was closest to Jesus; it may be he was closest of all.

In the first three Gospels John seldom appears apart from James; for the most part James and John are inseparable, and act and speak as one. From these Gospels there emerges a vivid picture of John and the strange thing is that it is not an attractive one.

1. John and James emerge as men of ambition. Mark tells) how they came to Jesus with the request for the chief places in his kingdom, how the rest of the twelve resented this as an attempt to steal a march upon them, and how Jesus taught them all a muchneeded lesson in humility (Mark 10:35-45).

When Matthew retells that story he attributes this ambitious request, not to John and James, but to their mother (Matt. 20:20-29) . The reason for the change in the story is this. Matthew was writing perhaps thirty years later than Mark. By that time men looked back on the twelve as the princes and foundation stones of the Church, and it was only natural that that which was to their discredit should be removed, or toned down, or explained away. So Matthew attributes the ambitious desire for place and power, not to James and John themselves, but to their mother. But we may well believe that Pdark's story is the correct version of what happened.

There may well have been two reasons for this request for the first place in the apostolic band.

a. It may be that James and John were a little better off than the others, and socially a little higher.

Certainly their father Zebedee was sufficiently prosperous in business to employ hired servants (Mark 1:20); and James and John may well have felt themselves a cut above the rest.

b. It may be that James and John were closely akin to Jesus. There are three lists of the women who stood by the cross of Jesus at the end. In Mark the list is: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome (Mark 15:40). In John the list is: Jesus' mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene (John 19:25). In Matthew the list is: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children (Matt. 27:56). Mary Magdalene appears in every list. Mary the mother James and Joses and Mary the wife of Cleophas must be identified as the same person. That being so, the remaining person is called Salome, the sister of Jesus' mother, and the mother of Zebedee's children. This would mean that Salome was the mother of James and John and was a sister of Mary the mother of Jesus, and that, therefore, James and John were full cousins of Jesus. It may well be that they thought that their physical kinship to Jesus gave them a special claim to a specially favored place in his kingdom.

2. James and John were men of a violent temper. The direct route from Galilee to Jerusalem necessarily passes through Samaria, and the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. On his last

journey to Jerusalem Jesus took that route. He sent on messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to

make preparations to stay there; but the ancient enmity produced the shut door, and hospitality was

discourteously refused. The reaction of James and John was immediate and violent: "Lord, wilt thou

that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" Jesus had

to remind them that they were followers of one who had come, not to destroy, but to save (Luke

9:51-56).

It was no doubt for this reason that John and James received their nickname Boanerges, the sons of

thunder as Jesus called them (Mark 3:17). They must have been violent and explosive characters,

with tempers on a hair trigger and with voices ready to thunder out in denunciation and

condemnation.

3. On only one occasion does John appear alone in the Synoptic gospels, and he appears as a man of

an intolerant heart. He had seen a man casting out devils in the name of Jesus. This man was not

actually one of their company, and John had thereupon forbidden him to carry on the healing work

that he was doing (Mark 9:39-40; Luke 9 49 50). Jesus gently told him to let the man be, for he who

was not against them was for them.

At first sight John appears as a man of overreaching ambition, a man with an explosive temper, a

man of an intolerant heart.

I believe that there is something to add to his story and this picture. As we have seen, John appears

frequently in the story of the Synoptic Gospels, but never once does he appear by name in the

Fourth Gospel. But in the Fourth Gospel there appears a character who is called The Beloved

Disciple. In ancient times no one doubted that the Beloved Disciple was John.1 But in modern times

the identification of the Beloved Disciple with John has been widely disputed.

As a matter of interest we may briefly note certain of the main theories which have been advanced.

1. It has been suggested that the Beloved Disciple is not an actual historical person at all, but that he

is an ideal figure, "the exquisite creation of a devout imagination."

2. Strange as it may seem, the Beloved Disciple has been identified with Judas Iscariot. It is claimed

that only Judas understood the mind of Jesus, and that the action of Judas was a deliberate aiding of

Jesus to do the task which had been given him to do. There was, indeed, a Gnostic sect who had a

gospel according to Judas, and who saw in Judas the ideal Gnostic who alone of all men had

understood Christ and had helped him to die. The identification of Judas and

I Cf. Irenaeus. Aeainst 11eresies, 3, 1, 1; Eusiblus, Ecclesiastical History, 6, 25.

the Beloved Disciple is rendered impossible by the narrative of John 13:21-30 where the two

characters are obviously different.

3. The Beloved Disciple has been identified with Nathanael, the Israelite in whom there was no guile

(John 1:43-51), and who was clearly near and dear to the heart of Jesus.

4. The Beloved Disciple has been identified with the young man of Mark 14:51, who was present at

the arrest and who fled naked, leaving his linen sheet in the hands of the soldiers.

5. The Beloved Disciple has been identified with Lazarus for in the Lazarus story it is three times

said that Jesus loved Lazarus (John 11:3, 5, 36).

6. The Beloved Disciple has been identified with the rich young ruler. In Mark's story it is said that

Jesus "beholding him loved him" (Mark 10:21). A romantic story is built up in which the rich young

ruler later gave his heart to Jesus, and afterwards became the "good man of the house" who gave

Jesus and his disciples the room for the Passover feast (Mark 14:14). It is conjectured that he was

present at the Last Supper and was the Beloved Disciple on whose breast Jesus leaned.

The great argument which is used against identifying the apostle John with the Beloved Disciple is

the difference in their characters. John is the ambitious, angry, intolerant character; the Beloved

Disciple is the figure of love. But I believe that the traditional view is correct—that the apostle John

and the Beloved Disciple are one and the same, and that the very point of John's whole life is the

change which Jesus Christ wrought in him, whereby the son of thunder did become the apostle of

love.

Let us then see what the New Testament has to say about the Beloved Disciple. At an ancient feast

people reclined on low couches with the feet stretched out behind, leaning on the left arm, thus

leaving the right hand free to deal with the food. At the Last Supper the Beloved Disciple leaned on

Jesus' breast, which means that he must have been Sitting at Jesus right hand. It was to him that

Peter signed to ask who the traitor was (John 13:21-25). It was to the care of the Beloved Disciple

that Jesus entrusted Mary his Mother (John 19:26, 27). It was the Beloved Disciple who arrived first

at the tomb on Easter morning Uohn 20:1-10). The Beloved Disciple was there at the lakeside when

Jesus appeared to his men; it was about his future that Peter asked, only to be rebuked; and it is

there that it is said that his authority lies behind the gospel which bears the name of John (ch. 21).

Before we leave the New Testament it may be that we can add still a little more about John. In John

18:15, 16 another unnamed disciple appears in the gospel narrative. When Jesus was arrested, Peter

and this unnamed disciple followed to see what would happen; and they were able to gain an entry

to the courtyard of the high priest's house, because this unnamed disciple was known to the high

priest. John's acquaintance with the high priest may be explained in one of two ways.

1. There is extant a letter written by Polycrates who was Bishop of Ephesus about A.D. 19O. In it he

describes John as "a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and who was a

priest and wore the priestly diadem" (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3, 31). If Polycrates is right,

then John had high priestly connections, and entrance to the high priest's house would be easy.

2. It may be that the second explanation is the more probable. H. V. Morton in In the Steps of the

Master gives us some very interesting information:

There is in the back streets of Jerusalem a dark little hovel now, I believe, an Arab coffeehouse,

which contains stones and arches, that were once part of an early Christian Church. The Franciscan

tradition is that this Church was erected on the site of a house which had belonged to Zebedee, the

father of St John. This family, said the Franciscan, were fish merchants of Galilee, with a branch

office in Jerusalem, from which they used to supply, among others, the family of the High Priest.

This would explain how John was known to the doorkeeper of the high priest's house, and it would

also explain how Zebedee's fishing business was prosperous enough to enable him to employ hired

servants in addition to his sons (Mark 1:20).

So we come to the end of the gospel evidence which leaves us with the picture of a man of a

tempestuous nature who under the hand of Jesus became a man of love.

In Acts John is still prominent in the story, but he never speaks. Always he is found in the company

of Peter and it is always Peter who is spokesman for both. John is there when the lame man is healed

at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:1-10). He was with Peter when they were both

imprisoned, and when Peter made his courageous speech before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1-22). He

went with Peter to Samaria to see the amazing results of the preaching of Philip (Acts 8:14). Paul

names him as one of the great leaders of the Christian Church (Gal. 2:9)

With this John passes from the pages of the New Testament; and for further information about him

we must move into the realm of legend and tradition. Many of the later stories about John are

obviously works of pious fiction and imagination, but there are others which ring true, and from

them there emerges a picture of John which is closely consstent with what the writings of the New

Testament tell us about him.

John. it is said, was faithful to the trust which Jesus reposed in him when he committed Mary to his

charge (John 19:26-27). John stayed in Jerusalem and cared for Mary like a son until the day of her

death (Nicephorus, The Ecclesiastical History, 2, 2). Perhaps it was after the death of Mary that

John found his way to Rome. There he came under persecution. He was flung into a cauldron of

boiling oil (Tertullian, De Praescriptione, 36), but emerged unharmed. Later tradition in Jerome

added the further em broidery to the tale that he emerged purer and fresher than when he was

thrown inl He was compelled to drink the cup of hemlock, but it did him no harm.

It is the consistent tradition of the early Church that thereafter John was banished to the island of

Patmos, most probably in the time of Domitian (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5, 30, 3; Eusebius, The

Ecclesiastical History, 3, 18, 1; Jerome, On Illustrious Men, 9). On being liberated from Patmos, he

came to Ephesus, and there he became a leading figure with a unique position in the Church. It is at

this period of his life that the traditions gather around him and they are characteristic of him.

In Ephesus there was an archheretic called Cerinthus. He was a Docetist; that is to say he taught

that Jesus never had a flesh and blood body but was only a phantom walking in the appearance of a

man. Such a belief was destructive of the whole Christian faith, and it was anathema to anyone who

believed that the Word was made flesh (John 1:14; cf. I John 4:3). Irenaeus tells us that one day

John was going to bathe in the bathhouse in Ephesus when he learned that Cerinthus was already in

it. "Let us flee," he exclaimed, "lest even the bathhouse fall down, because Cerinthus the enemy of

truth is therein" (Against Heresies, 3, 3, 4). The fire of the old days never died in John's heart.

The second story of the days in Ephesus is passed down to us by Clement of Alexandria. Once in

visiting a certain congregation John saw within it a most handsome young man "of refined

appearance and of ardent spirit." Pointing at the youth, John said to the bishop of the congregation,

"This man I entrust to your care with all earnestness in the presence of the church and of Christ as

witnesses." The bishop accepted the trust and pledged himself to it. He took the youth into his own

home, cherished him, taught him and finally baptized him. Then he relaxed his care and vigilance

too soon. The youth fell into evil company who seduced him into dissolute luxury and taught him to

be a robber.

The young man grew accustomed to this new kind of life. "Like a restive and powerful horse which

starts aside from the right path and takes the bit between its teeth, he rushed all the more violently

because of his great nature towards the pit." The youth himself decided that he had drifted beyond

the mercy of God, and he organized a robber band of which he became chief, "the most violent, the

most blood-thirsty, the most cruel."

There came the day when John revisited the church in which he had first seen the youth. He said to

the bishop "Now, bishop, return to us the deposit which Christ and I entrusted to your care in the

presence and with the witness of the church over which you preside." The bishop was amazed,

thinking at first that it was some entrusted money that John was talking about. "It is the youth," said

John "and the soul of our brother that I demand back." With sorrow in his voice, the bishop

answered, "The man is dead." "By what death did he die?" demanded John. "He is dead to God," said

the bishop, and went on to tell how the youth had slipped from grace, and had become a robber

chieftain. John rent his clothes. "A fine guardian of our brother's soul it was that I leftl" he said.

John called for a horse and a guide and rode straight from the church to find the youth. When he

came near to the headquarters of the robber band he was captured by the robber's sentries. He

made no effort to escape. "It was for this very purpose that I came," he said. "Take me to your

leader." So he was brought to the leader, who was waiting fully armed, but when he recognized John,

he was smitten with shame and turned and fled from his presence. Forgetting his old age, John

pursued him. "Why do you flee from me, my child," he said, "from your own father, from me a poor,

old, unarmed man? Have pity upon me, and do not fear. You have still hope of life. I myself will give

account to Christ for you. If need be, I will willingly undergo your penalty of death, as the Lord did

for us. I will give my own life in payment for yours. Stand Believe Christ has sent me" On hearing

this the youth threw away his weapons and fell to trembling and to tears. With bitter contrition he

repented, and John assured him that he had found pardon with his Saviour for him. He prayed with

him; he brought him back to the church; he never ceased to keep his grip upon him; and in the end

the young man was so changed by Christ that he became the bishop of the congregation (Clement of

Alexandria, The Rich Man's Salvation, 42).

Surely there never was a more characteristic story of John, for in it the old anger is used to the glory of Christ by the new love.

There are two further fragments of tradition which have something to add to the picture. The one is handed down by John Cassian, and must be quoted in full:

It is said that the blessed John while he was gently stroking a partridge with his hands, suddenly saw a philosopher approaching him, in the dress of a hunter. The philosopher was astonished that a man of such great fame and reputation should demean himself to such paltry and trivial amusements, and said: "Can you be that John whose great and famous reputation attracted me also with the greatest desire for your acquaintance? Why then do you occupy yourself with such poor amusements?" John answered him: "What is that that you are carrying in your hand?" "A bow " answered the other. "And why," said John, "do you not carry it everywhere bent?" The other answered: "That would not do for the force of its stiffness would be relaxed, if it were continually bent, it would be lessened and destroyed, and when the time came for it to send stouter arrows after some beast, its stillness would be lost by the excessive and continuous strain, and it would be impossible for the more powerful bolts to be shot." "So, my lad," said John, "do not let this slight and short relaxation of my mind

disturb you, as, unless it sometimes relieved and relaxed the rigour of its purpose by some

recreation, the spirit would lose spring owing to the unbroken strain, and would be unable when

need required, implicitly to follow what was right." (Conferences, 24, 21.)

"The bow that is bent will soon cease to shoot straight" that, too, may well have been something

which the intense nature of John learned in the mellowing of age.

There is one other fragment of tradition which Jerome has handed down to us.

When John tarried in Ephesus to extreme old age, and could only with difficulty be carried to the

church in the arms of his disciples, and was unable to give utterance to many words, he used to say

no more at their several meetings than this: "

LITTLE CHILDREN, LOVE ONE ANOTHER

." At

length the disciples and fathers who were there, wearied with always hearing the same words, said:

"MASTER, WHY COST THOU ALWAYS SAY THIS?

" "It is the Lord's command, 'was his reply,

"and, if this alone be done, it is enough." (Commentary on Galatians, 6, 10.)

In the end John had forgotten everything except his Lord's command of love.

In the end, they say, he was buried, but even in the grave he was still alive. It was said, says

Augustine, that "he showed that he was still alive by the movement of the dust above, which was

stirred by the breath of the saint." And Augustine piously adds: "I think it needless to contest the

Opinion. Those who know the place must see whether the soil is so affected as it is said; since I have

heard the story from men not unworthy of credence." (Tractates on John, 124, 2.)

John is the supreme example of how Jesus Christ can take a man as he is and use his natural gifts

and powers and temperament for greatness. Power itself is always neutral. Power becomes good or

bad according to the mind and heart of the person by whom it is controlled and used. In John there

was always power, and the power was united with loveliness when it was controlled by Jesus Christ.

1. Peter w

JOHN THE SON OF THUNDER, BARKLEY

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1. Peter was finally crucified upside down at his own request-unwavering in his faith in Christ

2. Andrew had the privilege of preaching in the province in which the governor's wife received Jesus

Christ as her Saviour. The Governor crucified ANDREW on an X shaped cross. Andrew hung alive

on theat cross for 2 days, and in the idst of this agnony he continued to preach t he gospel of

Christ-still trying to bring people to Jesus.

Tradition also tells us that the officer who guarded James on his way to being beheaded by the

Roman sword, was so impressed with James's courage and constant zeal, that he fell down at the

Apostle's feet and begged pardon for the part he had played in the rough treatment he had received.

James lifted the man up, embraced and kissed him, and said, "

PEACE, MY SON; PEOPLE BE TO

THEE, AND THE PARDON OF THY FAULTS."

Immediately transformed the officer publicly confessed his surrender to Christ and was beheaded

alongside James.

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