Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

John

Book Overview - John

by Joseph Parker

John

[Note.—" John, the younger brother of James, who with him was called to the apostleship, was the son of Zebedee and of Salome. His father was a fisherman, living at Bethsaida in Galilee, on the borders of the lake of Gennesareth. The family appear to have been in easy circumstances; at least, we find that Zebedee employed hired servants ( Mark 1:20); and that Salome was among the women who contributed to the maintenance of Jesus ( Matthew 27:56).

"Having been brought up in the knowledge and the love of the true God by a pious mother, he appears to have early become a disciple of our Lord"s forerunner, and to have been directed by him to Jesus, whom he followed; it being generally considered that he was one of the two disciples mentioned in chap. John 1:37-41. He was soon admitted, with his brother James, and Peter, to particular intimacy with the Saviour, who selected them as witnesses of the most important and solemn events of his life ( Mark 5:37; Matthew 17:1, Matthew 26:37).

"It appears, that of all the apostles John was especially favoured with our Lord"s regard and confidence, so as to be called "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He was devotedly attached to his Master; and though he fled, like the other apostles, when Jesus was apprehended, he recovered his firmness, was present during the trial and crucifixion of our Saviour, and was intrusted by him with the care of his mother ( John 19:26-27).

"John is said to have remained at Jerusalem till the death of Mary, about the year a.d48. After Paul had left Asia Minor John went to labour there, residing chiefly at Ephesus, and founding several churches in that country. Shortly afterwards, during the persecution under Domitian (or, according to others, towards the end of the reign of Nero), he was banished to Patmos, an island in the Ægean Sea, where he received the visions of the Apocalypse, On the accession of Nerva he was liberated, and returned to Ephesus, where he continued to labour during the rest of his life. He died in the hundredth year of his age, about a.d100."—Angus"s Bible Handbook]