John came from a family of “means”.  His father employed him.  There were other hired servants.  (Mark 1:20)  His mother helped support Jesus and the Disciples (Luke 2:3)  From Matthew 27:56 some take it that Salome was a sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother.


He was probably born in Bethsaida of Galilee  He had a brother James.


John was born in a social position and was familiar with the high priest’s home. (John 18:15)


Scripture background:


Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:L8:  Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13


Questions asked:


Mark 13:3,4  “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately ‘Tell us when will these things happen?  And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled.?’”


Luke 9:54 “When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’”


John 13:25 “Leaning back against Jesus, he (John) asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’”


Scriptural stories:


Transfiguration – Mark 17:1ff

Peter’s wife’s mother – Mark 1:29

Jaris’ daughter restored – Mark 5:37

His mother expressed the ambition of her sons when she requested for them the chief places in the kingdom – Mark 12:35

Prepares Passover – Luke 22:8

John exhibited his zeal, intolerance and exclusiveness when he made comment regarding a person who was casting out demons and yet he was not of their group.

Sitting at the right hand – Mark 10:35

With Jesus at the wedding in Cana – John 2:1-111

Cures a lame beggar – Acts 3:3

Sees the glory of Jesus in heaven – Rev. 1:19

Forbidden to worship a angel – Rev. 19:10,  22:8



Place of service:


Jerusalem.  He cared for the mother of Jesus for a number of years.  Some say she moved to Ephesus where she later died.


John, later, went to Ephesus, which was a strategic location.  He was pastor there….and then many years spent in Asia.


Place and manner of death:


100 A.D.  He died at “a great age” in Ephesus.

However, there is another report that he (in Rome) was cast into a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped by a miracle without being harmed.


Tradition has it that he also escaped a poison chalice.

 Domitian banished him to the Isle of Patmos.


He was the only apostle to escape martyrdom.



Interesting facts:


He owned a home in Jerusalem,. (John 19:27)

He had a violent temper (ouch)l (Mark 3:17)

He was of noble character and member of the “inner circle”


3 times he was reproved by Jesus:

     Matthew 20:20 – when mom asked a question

     Mark 10:35-40 – “They” disciples ask a question

     Luke 9:50 – regarding a man driving out demons who was not one “of us”

3 times it is said, “whom Jesus loved”

There was a great friendship b etween he and Peter.

After the death of Jesus, he lived in Jerusalem and was there when Paul visited the city for the 2nd time.

His epistles (John, the Revelation, 1 John, 2 John and 3 John) reveal that he rose to a position of world-wide influence.

He is remembered with the statement – “Little children, love one another.”



Traditional comments:


He might have been a disciple of John the Baptist

He kept a tame bird.

He moved to Ephesus before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70



Shields and emblems:




Various attempts were made on his life, including a poisoned chalice from which he was miraculously spared