John the Apostle by Hans Memling
John the Beloved
John "the Beloved Disciple" was the brother of James (the Great) and a distant cousin of Mary, Jesus' earthly mother. John had a great ministry throughout Asia. He founded the churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira. John was sent to Rome where it is said that he was cast into a large pot of boiling oil, but they couldn't burn the love of Christ out of John's heart and he was miraculously protected and escaped from the cauldron without harm. Seeing that John was divinely protected, Domitian banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he was given the vision and penned the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When Domitian died, Nerva succeeded him and recalled John from the Isle. John returned to Ephesus where he lived out the rest of his days. John was the only apostle who escaped a violent death. This is very interesting given what Jesus prophesied about him in John 21:20-14
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
James the Elder by Rembrandt
James the Great
James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John the Beloved was also a relative of Mary, because his mother Salome was Mary's cousin. It was not until ten years after the death of the first martyr, Stephen, that the second martyrdom took place, the martyrdom of James.
When Herod Agrippa was appointed governor of Judea, he wished to integrate himself with the Jews and in order to gain their favor he began a sharp persecution of the Christians striking specifically at the Christian Leaders. A man accused James and testified against him. James was then sentenced to death. However, as his accuser witnessed James' extraordinary courage and dauntless faith, he fell down at James' feet and begged for forgiveness, professed Jesus Christ as Lord and resolved that James would not wear the crown of martyrdom alone. Thus, about 44 AD, the accused and accuser were beheaded together for professing the name of Jesus Christ.
Philip by Peter Paul Rubens
Philip was the first to be called by the name Disciple. His ministry was in Upper Asia where he diligently spread the gospel. It was in Hilopolis, in Phrygia where he was scourged, thrown into prison and finally crucified around AD 54.
Question: Are you enjoying the series on the Apostles? What would you like to see me blog about in the future?
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel