The Apostle John

The Beloved

DATE: 23 Feb, 2003 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney

  I.         Introduction and Background (Rev 1:9) – who was this John?


A.      The Apostle John was used by God to pen 5 books of the New Testament: the Gospel of John, the small letters called Epistles of John (1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John), and the Book of the revelation.

B.       Longest living Apostle – He outlived all the rest of the apostles who were hunted, and tortured, and slaughtered – lived to around 90 years old

C.       Bad Characteristics


1.        Brother of James – couldn’t help that

2.        Angry sprit - Fiery temper

3.        Haughty spirit - Wanting the pre-eminence like James


D.      But John had some great characteristics - Good Characteristics


1.        He WAS following Jesus – thank God THAT was there – nothing else would have mattered otherwise

2.        Always mentioned second “… James and John” – took second place


a.       He was a tag along brother

b.       Not like James – always forcing his will and his way


3.        When every other apostle forsook Jesus, two remained – Peter and John, and then only John


E.       But my quest this morning is to discover why the apostle John is referred to as John, THE BELOVED!


II.       Message - Why John was called the Beloved


A.      Two Reasons


1.        He KNEW Jesus loved him – really believed it

2.        He took that love, and he lived IN it – didn’t ignore, or abuse that love


B.       He KNEW Jesus loved him (Jn 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7) really believed it


1.        All the disciples heard Christ’s call to follow Him

2.        John seems to be the only one who felt Christ’s call – could sense that the call was from the HEART of God

3.        Jesus speaks to the heart as much as to the mind – the truth is, you cannot be saved without your heart being involved!!!

4.        God’s thoughts are only about us (Ps 40:5; 139:1-6, 17; Jer 29:11) – not about the galaxies, and the stock markets, or the weather

5.        You can’t tell me that God doesn’t love you!

6.        Few people really know and believe that God loves them


a.       The religious crowd knew not the love of God


1)       Jn 5:42  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

2)       Lu 11:42  But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of  God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.


b.       The rich young ruler was not hated by Jesus, or rejected by him, but loved dearly - Mr 10:21  “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

c.       Jesus was allowed to love Mary, Martha, and Lazarus


1)       Joh 11:5  “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.”

2)       Joh 11:3  “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.”


d.       David knew God loved him


1)       Ps 60:5  That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

2)       Ps 127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.


e.       Daniel knew he was greatly beloved of God

f.        God loved the Jewish nation when they were not a nation


1)       Ho 11:1 ¶ When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

2)       De 7:7-8  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you.


g.       Don’t you realise, that no one became great in God’s eyes who didn’t allow God to first love them, and then change them by that love – like the loving hands of a Potter


1)       The same is true with a wife – allow your husband to love you

2)       Hey husband, allow your wife to love you

3)       Kids – allow your family to love you – they probably do! It is not embarrasing

4)       You probably just don’t want THEIR kind of love


h.       God loved you when you were unlovely


1)       Eph 2:4-5 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2)       John 3:16

3)       Tit 3:3-6  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

4)       Gal 2:20 The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me!


i.         God didn’t just love you ONCE


1)       Ro 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

2)       Ro 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

3)       2Co 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be  with you all. Amen.


j.         That love HAS to do something to you and for you


1)       1Jo 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

2)       1Jo 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

3)       1Jo 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

4)       1Jo 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

5)       1Jo 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.


k.       So, do you know what we all should be doing?


1)       Jude 1:21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

2)       And if you think that being loved of God is nothing important, you forget that to be loved by God, like Jesus was loved of God is the greatest thing the world “this is my beloved Son!”


7.        Most of the verses on the love of God, and the love of Jesus Christ specifically are in the books written by the apostle John


a.       Do you think it is because Jesus loved him specially, above the others?

b.       No! It is only because he realised that Jesus really DID love him – and it is pitiful that more do know really believe it!


8.        If you only knew the Love of God, and knew it is for you, and so supreme – better than wine, accomplishment, success, a wife, a husband, a home, children, money, gold, diamonds, and the list goes on! If you only knew it is true, you could not stay the same


a.       EX: Two people always fighting – one imagines the other doesn’t really love them – just get in worse and worse fights – then another person remarks at just how much the other person talks all about them – loves them, boasts about them

b.       Song 1:4  “Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.”

c.       When was the last time that you just sat back, remembered that God loved you, and remember just how wonderful is that love toward such a sinner as you?!


C.       He took that love, and he lived IN it – didn’t ignore, or abuse that love


1.        In its protection - In its risk - What happened when Jesus was arrested in the garden? John didn’t mind the risks of being a Christian, because of Christ’s LOVE folks!


a.       Mark 14:50 “And they all forsook him, and fled.”


1)       EXCEPT for Peter and John. (Jn 18:15-18)

2)       Peter followed afar off, that is, he followed WAY BEHIND (Jn 26:58)

3)       Peter was watching from the outside, fearful of going into the residence of the High Priest, so the apostle John brought him inside.

4)       Peter was afraid to go inside but John was not. The high priest knew who Jesus' followers were. He knew who John was.


b.       But then, at the cross


1)       Luke 23:49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

2)       Acquaintance-Those well known to Christ, which surely would be the apostles, were not NEAR the cross, EXCEPT a few.

3)       John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, 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

4)       Only five people are named that stood by, or near the cross. This is Jesus' mother Mary and His Aunt, and two other women named Mary, AND the apostle John.

5)       Where was Peter? Broken, and ashamed for denying Jesus

6)       You see, John risked everything to be near Jesus


2.        In its Will – John didn’t mind the will of God


a.       Two events proved that:


1)       Why did Jesus give the apostle John the charge of caring for His mother, and not his brothers, his mothers’ "real sons"?


a)       It was because His brothers did not believe in Him at the time.

b)       John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

c)       They couldn’t love, nor accept the will of God because they thought Jesus was an inconvenience in their lives


2)       At the fish fry one Sunday morning just after the resurrection, Jesus guides Peter into His will, and Peter got very upset (Jn 21)


a)       Jesus said that Peter would be martyred

b)       But Peter was not resting in Christ’s love – he wanted to make sure other apostles also had to face struggles like him

c)       Did you notice that John didn’t say a word

d)       He was content to just be loved by the God who saved him


3.        In its pleasure


a.       You find John always nearest to Christ

b.       When everyone else is eating and fellowshipping, John is just resting against Jesus’ shoulder, listening to His heartbeat, and the sound of His voice

c.       John loved everything there was about Jesus

d.       He found his pleasure in just watching and hearing, and following, and being loved, and loving Jesus back!

e.       Such great pleasure!


D.      Practical Thoughts.


1.        Realise that the God of heaven, made you, and loves you – even though you are a sinful wreck

2.        Accept the love of God found on a hillside just outside of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago – don’t go looking anywhere else for it

3.        Let that love saturate your heart, and mind, and ultimately your hands and feet, and life

4.        Tell the Lord Jesus that you love Him every day


a.       Every time something goes wrong

b.       Every time someone hurts you

c.       Every time something goes right

d.       Every time you see something beautiful

e.       Every time you get blessed – which is more often than you are currently aware of

f.        TELL GOD “I LOVE YOU!”


5.        Repent of not being constantly in love with Him – that’s where spiritual adultery comes in – because you love


a.       Your sin – an idol

b.       Or your bad attitude – another idol

c.       Or your job – another idol

d.       Or your pleasure – another idol

e.       More than God loves you

f.        One of the most wicked people in this room is the one that is so loved by God, and yet ignores that love, and instead lives unaffected by the love of God


1)       For the unsaved, ends up in hell

2)       For the Christian – ends up miserable


III.     Conclusion


A.      You cannot earn God’s love – it is freely give


1.        What you must do is accept it

2.        And then live in it – don’t ever get away from living IN the love of God

3.        Then, Love God back


B.       Let’s get our hearts right with God