John the Evangelist was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles. His father was called Zebedee and his mother Salome. He became a disciple with his brother James, both of whom were called by Jesus when they prepared their father’s fishing net ( Matthew 4: 21-22 ).
The name João Evangelista was given because of the authorship of the fourth gospel, the Gospel according to John . The apostle also wrote three letters (John 1,2 and 3) and the book of Revelation. John was the youngest of all the apostles.
Interestingly, his own name is not explicit in the Gospel he wrote, but he makes two references to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” ( John 13:23 and John 21:20 ).
He was the only apostle who accompanied Christ until his crucifixion. According to tradition, he was the only apostle who died of natural causes.
John and Jesus
John is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved . He was highlighted by Jesus among the disciples, as was his brother James and Peter. The three would live intensely with Jesus and witness his main wonders.
Find out more: Who were the 12 Apostles?
The trio witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus ( Luke 9:28 ), keeping it secret until his resurrection. The three accompanied Jesus to Gethsemane, the place where the Messiah prayed before he was betrayed ( Mark 14: 32-33 ).
João Evangelista’s connection with Jesus was very strong, so much so that he was the only disciple who risked accompanying Christ until his crucifixion. On the way to the cross, when Christ saw him, he gave him the responsibility of caring for Mary, the mother of Jesus ( John 19: 26-27 ).
After Jesus’ ascension and receiving the Holy Spirit, John and Peter preached with great authority and were instrumental in the formation of the church. John and Peter’s preaching before the Jewish council resulted in the conversion of five thousand men ( Acts 4: 1-4 ). All this movement can be seen in the book of Acts of the Apostles.
See: Who wrote the Book of Acts of the Apostles?
John, the Apostle of Love
John is also popularly known as the Apostle of Love. This characteristic is due to the fact that his letters contain an insistent approach to the love of God, and it is worth highlighting the passage from 1 John 4: 7-21.
Although the apostle is related to love, John and his brother James were nicknamed by Jesus de Boanerges , which means “children of thunder” ( Mark 3:17 ). A note of how energetic and eager for the truth the brothers were.
This explosive temper is clear when John and James, upon realizing the Samaritans’ rejection, asked Jesus if they could destroy them by making fire fall from heaven ( Luke 9:54 ).
As he followed his entire trajectory described in the Gospels and in the three letters, we realized that John learned to love when he realized how much Jesus loved him. In every moment with Christ his heart was shaped. And from “son of thunder” he became the “beloved disciple”.
See: Who was the beloved disciple?
Exile and Death
In addition to the nickname ‘John the Evangelist’, the ‘Apostle of Love’ and the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’, everything indicates that John of Patmos is really the Apostle John.
See also: Who was João de Patmos?
After the destruction of Jerusalem, John began to minister in Ephesus. He was captured, taken to Rome, and on orders from Emperor Domitian, he was sent to the island of Patmos. It was during the exile of this small islet in the eastern Aegean that John received the revelation of Revelation, which goes against Revelation 1: 1-2 .
The Bible does not report on the death of John. According to an ancient tradition, after the death of Domitian, John returned to Ephesus where he remained until he died of natural death in the year 103 AD, when he was 94, an unusual age for the time in which he lived.