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Wednesday, February 27 2013

John: Fishers Of Men

John the son of Zebedee was a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a freshwater lake through which the Jordan River flows). John was called by the Messiah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Messiah) to be one of the original twelve apostles (the traitor Judas was replaced by Matthias; see Did Judas Iscariot Repent?). John was given to be the author of the Book of John and three Epistles (see The Epistles: First John, The Epistles: Second John and The Epistles: Third John) during his active ministry. John was the only one of the apostles to reach old age, during which, in his nineties, John was given to write another Epistle, to the "Seven Churches of Asia" - a letter known as the Book of Revelation (see The Epistles: Revelation).

As was the case with Matthew (see Matthew: The Gospel By The Accountant), Mark (see Mark: Was It John Mark?) and Luke (see Luke: The World Of The LORD), John made very little mention of himself in the Book that is known by his name. Even his calling as one of the first four of the twelve apostles, all fishermen, is recorded by the others (just as the Messiah had been a carpenter in the inland, wooded area of Nazareth, His moving to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee placed Him in an area that was based upon fishing - there is a reason for everything in the Bible).

The Disciples

"4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach [see How Did The Messiah's Ministry Begin?], and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [see Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand].

4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." (Matthew 4:17-22 KJV)

John was one of the "inner circle" (see What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?) who witnessed the transfiguration - a vision of the future Kingdom of God on Earth (see The Moses And Elijah Vision). Notice that John was ordered not to speak or write of it until after the Messiah's Resurrection.

"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:1-13 KJV)

The fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John (two sets of brothers) were frequent visitors to the Messiah's home at Capernaum and vice versa. On one such occasion, the famous healing of Peter's wife's mother occurred, followed by many healings of other people. As we will read, John and Peter, and the others, later were also able to heal by means of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting To Be Healed

"1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 1:30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 1:31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door. 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him." (Mark 1:29-34 KJV)

The incident in which a request was made for James and John to be declared the "leading" apostles by the LORD was typical of the carnal world of today also. Many people want to selfishly "lead," rather than to humbly serve, as did the LORD Himself.

"10:35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

10:36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

10:37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

10:38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

10:39 And they said unto him, We can.

And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: 10:40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all." (Mark 10:35-44 KJV)

Matthew provided additional information for the same incident - it was actually the mother of James and John who made the request (keep the "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons" in mind).

The Garden of Gethsemane

"20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou?

She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

They say unto him, We are able.

20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:20-28 KJV)

What made the mother of James and John think that she could make such a request? Answer: she was the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus i.e. she was Jesus' aunt, and James and John were Jesus' cousins. That proof is evident from a very simple compilation of verses.

When Jesus was crucified, standing among the women near the cross with Jesus' mother Mary was Salome, who was Mary's sister, and therefore Jesus' aunt. Match the women to their names:

"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." (John 19:25 KJV)

"15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome" (Mark 15:40 KJV)

Further to the verses above, Jesus' aunt Salome was the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of the apostles James and John. The relationship doesn't fit together any other way.

"4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them." (Matthew 4:21 KJV)

"27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children." (Matthew 27:56 KJV)

The Crucifixion

It was for that reason, as the Messiah was about to die, that He commanded that His mother Mary go to live with her nephew John and her sister Salome (Mary by that time had to have been a widow, or the request would not have been made; see Joseph Of Nazareth).

"19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 19:18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 19:20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

19:22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 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! 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 19:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 19:32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 19:35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." (John 19:17-40 KJV)

The Mount Of Olives

John, and Mary, obeyed the order ("He saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home"). After the ascension, the apostles returned to Jerusalem. There, "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

"1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." (Acts 1:9-14 KJV)

John and Peter remained together for some time at that base in Jerusalem. By then, they were able to do miraculous healings, just as the LORD said that they would be able to do in due time.

"3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 3:10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering." (Acts 3:1-11 KJV)

John survived to old age. His brother James did not - he was killed not long after the Crucifixion.

"12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword." (Acts 12:1-2 KJV)

Studies For The Book Of John

What Does Word of God Mean To You?

Teaching In The Temple

The Believers Of Samaria

The Lessons Of The Loaves And Fishes

The Ships Of Galilee

What Did Jesus Christ Teach At Tabernacles?

The Place Of Lazarus

The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week

Ahead Of The Prophet

Joseph and Nicodemus: Making A Stand

The Healing Spirit

Christ's Crossing Of The Sea

The Cities Of Lake Galilee

Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?

What Did The Christ Do Before Passover?

The Ascent From Bethany

Fact Finder: The Book of John has the very famous "John 3:16" verse. What was the entire teaching?
See What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?


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This Day In History, February 27

380: The Edict of Thessalonica. Emperor Theodosius I, with co-emperors Gratian and Valentinian II (see also Who Were Valentine And Cupid?) proclaimed that all Roman citizens were to convert to the Roman perversion of Christianity (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

837: The 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1189: Richard the Lion-Hearted ascended the throne.

1526: In Germany, Saxony and Hesse formed the League of Gotha, a league of Protestant princes.

1531: German Protestants established the League of Schmalkalden to resist the authority of the Emperor (although doctrinally, there is no difference between the Church of Rome and her "Protestant" daughters; see Antichristians).

1560: The Treaty of Berwick, which expelled the French from Scotland, was signed by England and Scotland.

1594: Henry IV was crowned King of France.

1670: Jews were expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I.

1803: The Great Fire of Bombay.

1861: The "Warsaw Massacre" occurred when Russian troops fired on a crowd demonstrating against Russian rule.

1881: The Boers defeated the British at the Battle of Majuba Hill, South Africa.

1900: The British Labour Party is founded.

1900: Canadian forces under Lord Kitchener led the final attack of The Battle of Paardeberg, the last battle of the South African Boer War.

1933: The Reichstag Fire. The Nazis claimed the burning of the German Parliament building was a "conspiracy" by "terrorists" and used it as an opportunity to outlaw their political opponents. A Dutchman, Marius van der Lubbe, who was later executed for starting the fire, is regarded by many historians to have been either completely innocent, or a patsy of the Nazis; he was posthumously pardoned in 2008 (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1942: The Battle of the Java Sea began; a U.S., British, Dutch and Australian naval force under command of Dutch admiral Karel Doorman fought the Japanese. Doorman was killed when the Dutch cruiser De Ruyter was sunk.

1948: The Communists forcefully took over the government of Czechoslovakia from President Eduard Benes.

1949: Chaim Weizmann became the first President of Israel.

1967: Revered CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite editorialized against the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam), changing from his previous neutral stance.

1973: Native Americans began an occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, a siege that lasted until May.

1974: A new constitution was approved in Sweden which reduced the status of the king to a figurehead.

1991: During the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait from an invasion by Iraq, Kuwaiti troops re-entered Kuwait city.





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