THE BELOVED JOHN ON A LONELY ISLAND

Printer-friendly version

[Revelation:1:1-20].

Lesson No.: 
150
Class: 
Elementary
Memory Verse: 

“Every  eye  shall see  him”  (Revelation 1:7).

Notes: 

“Follow Me”
Two men who loved to go fishing were in a little ship one day with their father. They were busy mending their nets for the next fishing trip. Jesus walked along the shore that day and called to the young men to follow Him. At once, John and his brother James said good-bye to their father and left the ship and followed Jesus [Matthew:4:22]).

Jesus wanted some helpers, and when He found men who would work for Him, He called them. Before Jesus left the earth and went back to Heaven, He had chosen twelve helpers, who were called Apostles. Do you remember the names of some of them? One, whom you remember, was Peter. He, too, had been a fisherman, but Jesus had said to him one day, “Follow me.” Peter left his fishing nets and began working for Jesus. Another man was Matthew whom Jesus called from his work; Jesus said, “Follow me”. He, too, became an Apostle and taught people of the love of Jesus. The twelve men were told to go out and preach the Gospel. They must tell everyone they met about Jesus and teach them to prepare for Heaven.

John the Beloved
John became one of the closest friends of Jesus. Let us see what we may learn of him who was called the beloved disciple. He had seen Jesus heal sick people and do many other great things. John was with the fishermen who once spent a whole night out on the sea, and caught nothing. John heard Jesus say, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” A very great number of fishes filled the nets when the disciples obeyed Jesus. John heard Jesus say, “Come and dine,” when they reached the shore, and together they ate breakfast that morning [John:21:6-12]).

John was on the mountain with Jesus and the other disciples when 5,000 people came out to hear Jesus. John, no doubt, helped serve the five barley loaves and two small fishes to the people. He helped gather up the crumbs – twelve baskets of leftovers. Perhaps each disciple gathered a basketful that day. John could never forget the miracles which he saw Jesus do.

Jesus loved John very much, and John also loved Jesus. The last time Jesus ate supper with the twelve disciples, John leaned on Jesus’ breast, because he loved Him. How could anyone turn against this dear Friend! Judas, one of the twelve, did turn against Jesus, but John was good and kind, and loved Jesus to the very end. John stood at the cross when Jesus was placed there to die. He took Mary, the mother of Jesus, to his own home and treated her as his very own mother.

The Isle of Patmos
When John was an old man something very sad happened to him. A wicked ruler was cruel to the Christians and tried to stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ from spreading. He knew that John was one of those who believed in Jesus, and who taught others about Him. One day this wicked ruler sent John far away from home to a lonely island out in the sea. This little island, named Patmos, is about ten miles long and six miles wide. There were no shade trees to be found, just sand and rocks. Perhaps John slept on the beach at night. We do not know what kind of food he could find on this barren island, but we know that Jesus took care of him.

Today some of the worst criminals are sometimes sent for punishment to lonely islands out in the ocean, where they are kept behind prison walls. John was not on this island for committing a crime, but for telling the Story of Jesus.

What John Saw
It was the Lord’s day. John must have been thinking about Jesus -– how He had gone to Heaven to be with the Father. As he sat there, all alone, looking at the sea, at the rocks, at the sand, and at the soft clouds in the sky, he suddenly heard behind him a voice which sounded like a loud trumpet. John turned around at once to see who was speaking in such a mighty voice, and this is what he saw; seven beautiful golden candlesticks; and who do you suppose was standing among them? Jesus, the Son of God. John was not alone on this island, for Jesus was there, too.

John was very much afraid and fell down at the feet of Jesus as if he were dead. The brightness of the glory of Jesus must have caused him to fall to the earth, just as the bright light that shone upon Saul one day caused him to fall down. But Jesus laid his hand upon John and said, “Fear not.” He told John to write the things which he saw and also the things he should soon see that were to happen in the future.

How happy we are that John did write the things he saw, for we can read about them in the last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. Shall we read what John wrote about Jesus? His clothing covered Him to His feet, and around His garment was a golden girdle. His face was shining brightly as the sun.

“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
“And his feet like unto fine brass . . . and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

The City of God
History tells us that for a year and a half John was a prisoner on this island. During that time he saw many marvellous things that are yet to happen. Jesus let him see the New Jerusalem, and he wrote about it in the Bible. There were the twelve gates to the city -- each gate a beautiful pearl. The twelve foundations of the wall of the city were of precious stones, and had the names of the twelve Apostles written upon them. Jesus loved the twelve Apostles who had left their work and their homes to follow Him and work for Him. Their names were written upon the beautiful stones of the foundation. What a great joy must have come to John as he read the names of the friends he knew so well! There was Peter’s name; there was the name of his own brother, James; and there in shining letters was his very own name!

Perhaps John did not understand everything that was yet to happen but his soul must have been thrilled with the wonders of God which he saw. We do not understand everything we read in the Book of Revelation, but we believe every word of it and know it will come to pass, for Jesus said it would.

Coming Soon
John said in the third verse of the first chapter of Revelation that happy are those who read and hear and keep the words written there, for the time is short. When Jesus sent His twelve disciples out to preach He told them to say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John was just a young man then. When he wrote the book of Revelation he was an old man. Four times Jesus said, “I come quickly.” That meant that very soon Jesus would come back to earth again to take away those who are ready to meet Him.

That was almost 2,000 years ago, and His coming is now very near. When he comes, it will be suddenly, and we must be ready always, for we do not know the exact time He will come. We all want to know that our hearts are white and clean through the Blood of Jesus; and if they are, we may expect to share the joys of Heaven someday.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” [Matthew:24:44]).

Questions: 

1. What was the name of the island where John was? [Revelation:1:9].
2. Whose voice did John hear behind him? [Revelation:1:12-13].
3. What did the voice sound like? [Revelation:1:15].
4. What did John do when he saw the Son of God? [Revelation:1:17].
5. Is Jesus coming soon? [Revelation:1:3];[Revelation:3:11].