I like John. He had quite a history. As a disciple he was ‘the one that Jesus loved.’ He was in the inner circle of disciples. He was a young man then and stayed by Jesus’s side. Jesus gave his mother to John to look after her.
But now a lot of time had passed. He could very well be close to 90 years old. According to church tradition he had been tortured for his faith by being boiled in oil. Now he was exiled to a lonely rock of an island – probably to spend the rest of His life alone.
And yet we don’t read Him bemoaning his fate. He simply says
I am your brother
I am your companion in tribulation
I am your companion in the kingdom
I am your companion in patience
He also said
I am here for the word of God
I am here as a testimony of Jesus Christ
We can not be under any delusion. If we stand for the word of God and we stand as a testimony of Jesus Christ we are going to be joining John in trials and tribulations. God’s kingdom is never going to fit in to the world’s kingdoms. While we have coasted in relative ease for a long time this is not the norm. We had better be prepared.
And we had better be prepared to join John in patience. At the end of Revelation John is going to write ‘even so come Lord Jesus.’ He, like us, was waiting for Jesus to come back for us.
So John is a pattern for us. Our brother knows what it is like to go through tribulation for the cause of the kingdom, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Let us join him in patience as we say with him ‘even so come Lord Jesus.’