Apostle John, Truth and Love. Apostle John is known for two things – Truth and Love. How special is that? How many of us desire a spouse characterized by truth and love? How many of us desire friends characterized by truth and love? How many of us want children or parents full of truth and love? If there is anything any of us should want to be and be known for in life it should be truth and love.Apostle John is remember by truth and love.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 6

by Delbert Young

Apostle John, Truth and Love (Luke 6:12-16)

Apostle John, Truth and Love - video audio (Luke 6:12-16)

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Apostle John, Truth and Love – Luke 6:12-16

Scriptures: Luke 6:12-16; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Matthew 4:21-22; Ephesians 4:15; Mark 3:17; Mark 9:38; 3 John 1:11; John 13:23; John 19:26-27; John 20:2; John 21:7; John 21:20; 1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16; Revelation 1:9

Luke 6:12-16 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

It is here Luke introduces us to the twelve apostles. We are taking what seems to be a long look at these men. The reason, it was these men who literally changed our world. We are giving them some honor due and making their lives applicable to our lives.

Jesus selected them on “One of those days.” Have you had one lately? For Jesus, it references one of those days the religious leaders were plotting to kill him. Jesus prayed all night concerning this decision. Do you pray about major decisions in your life, if so, how much? These men were disciples whom Jesus designate apostles. They would no longer simply follow Jesus around listening to him preach and minister. They would now share God’s word and minister also. How about you? Are you only listening to sermons following Jesus around, or are you finding places to share God’s word yourself and minister to people? Jesus took the two years he had left to pour himself into these men. He’ll do that with us too.

They were very ordinary people like you and I, called to become extraordinary apostles. God has called each of us to do something extraordinary. They changed the world. What are we changing? Because of them, we have the gospel and the church all around the world. None were among the religious elite. None were religiously trained. None were Pharisees, Scribes, or Sadducees. None were highly educated and some, most probably, not educated at all. None were from the religious capital Jerusalem area. Not coming from Jerusalem or being religiously trained would cause them to be looked down upon by the religious leaders as riffraff and lower class. However, that is exactly what God takes, has always taken – the base, the weak, the common, the insignificant – to confound those who think they are wise and strong. Paul speaking of apostles says,

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in JARS OF CLAY to show that THIS ALL-SURPASSING POWER IS FROM GOD AND NOT FROM US.

In those days and in places today where indoor plumbing does not exist, there are vessels of dishonor. Some utensils were used for preparing meals and serving food, but other utensils –Jars of clay – were used to take out the refuse and human defecation. Paul said that’s what the apostles were – jars of clay. Paul said the treasure of the gospel was placed in clay pots in contrast to gold bowls. Jesus cleaned and transformed them, changing each of them by placing his gospel into them to show this all-surpassing power was from God and not from us. The proof is the church today, two thousand years later, exists all around the world. That’s what he desires to do with each of us – clean us up with his gospel to affect generations to come. There’s proof they were here. I want proof I was here. How about you?

I’ve shown you the twelve were divided into three teams of four with each team having a leader. God places us with a team of people to accomplish great things for the kingdom. There are many teams here at Life Gate, are you on a team using your gifts and talents to accomplish great things for God?

We are learning God takes our natural God-given abilities and talents and transforms them into what we should be. Simon was a natural leader. Rock was the leader Jesus needed him to be. Jesus transformed Simon, the jar of clay, into Rock the apostle of Jesus Christ.

Andrew was Peter’s brother always in the background, but Jesus transformed Andrew’s background personality (jar of clay) into a background person who was always bringing someone to Jesus. God desperately needs background type people who support and make things run smoothly, but expects background people to not simply be background. He expects them to bring others to Jesus. Do you relate more to Simon Peter the leader, or to Andrew the supportive background person? God will transform your jar of clay.

Jesus surnamed James a son of thunder. James was an out front type person wanting to call down fire from heaven to burn people to ashes. Have you ever wanted to do that? That’s how I used to be. Jesus transformed James from a jar of clay thunder to destroy people into a thundering power of the first century church. When the devil wanted to stop the church, he didn’t kill Simon Peter or Andrew. He killed the son of thunder James. We need transformed thunder in the church today.

Next in the list is a man named John not to be confused with John the Baptist. John the Baptist was not an apostle of Jesus Christ. This John was the brother of James.

Matthew 4:21-22 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

This Apostle John seems familiar to Bible students and to those who have actually read the Bible. Apostle John wrote five books in our Bible: The Gospel of St John; 1 John; 2 John; 3 John; and the mystical Revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the guy who wrote the Revelation. John gave us much information about Jesus Christ, about church, and about apocalyptic issues. We feel we know John, but actually, we know little about him as his writings are not about him. His writings are about Jesus, about truth, love, and the church.

When we study what we do know about Apostle John, we find John was more of a background person who thundered. Jesus transformed John’s background thunder into a man of truth and love. John is known for two things: (1) Truth and (2) Love. How special is that? How many of us desire a spouse characterized by truth and love? How many of us desire friends characterized by truth and love? How many of us want children or parents full of truth and love? If there is anything any of us should want to be and be known for in life it should be truth and love.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the TRUTH IN LOVEMAY GROW UP INTO HIM IN ALL THINGS, which is the head, even Christ:

The context is the goal of every apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher (Eph 4:11) given to the body by Christ is for the purpose of maturing every believer to the ultimate place of becoming like Christ shown by the ability to speak the truth in love. Here’s the deal. Some of us speak the truth, but with little or no love. Others of us love, but have great difficulty speaking the truth. The priority and ultimate goal of every Christ follower is to be both.

Where do you feel you are concerning your maturity? If you graded yourself – A, B, C, D, or F – what is your grade in knowing the truth of Christ’s doctrine and speaking that truth in love to your family, to your loved ones, to those Jesus sends you? Where are you in relation to everything coming out of your mouth being a divine revelation of God’s truth spoken in love? Isn’t that what Jesus did? The only way possible to speak truth in love is to mature in Christ. Truth spoken in love defines the maturity of the Christ follower. The apostle John is an image of a mature Christ follower by being a man of truth and love.

Interestingly, as we look at the supposedly great artwork with images of Apostle John, we see John portrayed as a “wimpish” nearly effeminate man. He’s painted as weak, laying his head on Jesus looking up at him with blank dove eyes. That’s not John the apostle. You don’t pull fishing nets, row boats, and live to be close to a hundred years old (amazing for that day) if you’re weak and “wimpish.” John was like James – a son of thunder.

Mark 3:17 James son of Zebedee AND HIS BROTHER JOHN (to THEM he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder)

John was thunderous. When Jesus gave a person a “nickname,” it defined their character and temperament. Jesus didn’t say, “Sons of Zebedee.” He said “Sons of Thunder” and “Zebedee” doesn’t mean “thunder.” “Zebedee” means “my gift.” “Thunder is bronte {bron-tay’} meaning to roar; thunder. Verse Search says about Boanerges {bo-an-erg-es’} – “a nickname given to James and John, the sons of Zebedee, by the Lord. The name seems to denote fiery and destructive zeal that may be likened to a thunder storm.” John had a thunderous personality just as did James.

It was both James and John asking to call down fire from heaven to destroy the unbelieving Samaritans. And, when their mother came to Jesus commanding her boys have the two highest seats of prominence in the kingdom, John was right there. John was aggressive and John was ambitious. John was Boanerges thunder just as well as James.

John’s usually with Peter who did the forefront talking, or with James who did the forefront talking, but there is one place in the gospels where John speaks out alone.

Mark 9:38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and WE TOLD HIM TO STOP, because he was not one of us.”

There’s the thunder. “What do you think you’re doing? Stop doing that! You are not an apostle! You’re not in our group.” John was aggressive.

Jesus transformed John’s jar of clay using his thunder to thunder truth and love. In his gospel and three epistles John speaks in certainties. It’s “yes” and “no.” It’s “light” or “darkness.” It’s the “kingdom of God” or “the kingdom of darkness.” It’s serving Christ or serving Satan. It’s the “mark of the beast” or “the mark of the Lord.” It’s “truth” or it’s “false.” It’s “love” or it’s “hate.” He’s that way through all his writings ending in 3 John with,

3 John 1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

Truth is that simple to John. You’ve either seen God or you haven’t. You are either good or you’re evil. There’s no middle or maybe. Middle or maybe is not truth.

What is your personality? How much gray area do you have? How lenient are you with truth? How tolerant are you? It’s a good indicator of your maturity in speaking truth in love.

We said John was ambitious. Ambition transformed is powerful and good. A person’s ambition makes that person courageous, confident, bold, brave, and passionate. A person with no ambition does not have near the drive as a person with ambition. Ambition out of control hurts and destroys lives. John initially was ambition out of control, but Jesus transformed John’s jar of clay. We see this in John’s writing of the Gospel of St John. John not once used his own name though John was usually present with Jesus and wrote the gospel. I’d of slipped my name in there a few times, but not John. He refers to himself, but always in reference to the Lord. John’s jar of clay transformed.

It was the night of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and told all how one of them would betray him.

John 13:23 One of them, THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED, was reclining next to him.

All were stretched out around the table. John was next to Jesus, but refuses to say his own name to bring any glory to John. He says, “…the disciple whom Jesus loved…” giving glory to Jesus for having loved him. John didn’t say, “The disciple whom Jesus had taught,” or “The disciple whom Jesus had called,” but “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Obviously John felt he received a special love from Jesus. John would be crucial in later years in writing his gospel, his three epistles, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. John was able to write about love because he experienced God’s love. We all learn to love by how we are loved. John writes if you really want to be loved allow Jesus to love you. Then you can truly love.

Who do you love more than anyone in the world? Isn’t it because they love you? Our closest of friends are just that because at some place they expressed love to us. Who loves you? Whom do you love?

John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and THE DISCIPLE WHOM HE LOVED standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

A son’s responsibility was to take care of his mother when she grew old. Jesus on the cross tended to that, but again we see John’s modesty. It overwhelmed John that Jesus loved him. Yet, without personal ambition, John does not use his own name bringing him glory for being the only apostle at the cross, or for being the apostle Jesus asked to take care of his mother Mary.

John’s jar of clay transformed and learned love so well that Jesus entrusted John with his own mother, Mary. He told Peter, “Feed my sheep,” but he told John, “Love my mother.” According to ancient records, John loved and cared for Mary until she died.

John 20:2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, THE ONE JESUS LOVED, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Mary Magdalene came from the empty tomb. Again, John references himself as “the one Jesus loved.” “Jesus taught me to love.”

John 21:7 Then the disciple WHOM JESUS LOVED said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

John 21:20 Peter turned and saw that THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)

John got it. It’s great to be ambitious. It’s great to never compromise the truth. It can be great to thunder. It’s great to give no grey areas and expect perfection. All that truth is great but only when filtered through God’s love.

I have no shortage of truth. It’s easy for me to tell someone exactly what they should do and I can do it quoting the words of truth from Jesus himself. My shortage is always filtering truth through God’s love. I used to write my lessons and no one saw them until I blasted everyone with truth on Sunday. I said things unfiltered, cutting rather than healing, destroying rather than maturing. I had the thunder, but I needed the love. My jar of clay needed help with love. Today, Judy reads my notes prior to Sunday. Often she will say, “You need to say this a different way,” or “You don’t need to say that period.” I had to learn to filter my truth through love.

How about you? Do you sometimes need help with love? Or maybe you’re the opposite. You have so much love you can’t speak the truth to people. You need to “thunder up” your truth. See, you do not really love if you don’t filter your love through truth.

It’s amazing to me that Jesus can love someone like me who has thundered at so many people with truth, but is so insufficient with love. Apostle John was the consummate theologian. His gospel is a Christology of God with us. His epistles are a theology of how a true believer lives. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the ultimate theological revelation of the Son of man, Lamb of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Lamb’s Bride. Apostle John was full of truth, but John also had the love to go with it. John says more about love and uses the word “love” more than any other writer (over 55 times). He is the apostle of love. He learned to love because he realized how much the Lord loved him. His entire theology is God is a God of love.

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

A person cannot correctly love unless that person knows God.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

John was Boanerges (thunder) until he died. He never stopped thundering the truth. In fact, as an old, old man he thundered as he wrote out the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He never compromised the truth, but he understood love. Jesus knew the most powerful preacher of love could never compromise the truth. Love is not filtered through tolerance, sentiment, and feelings. That takes love to error. Love must come through truth just as truth must come through love.

Apostle John was in the inner circle of Jesus because he wanted to hear every word of truth spoken and experience every drop of love given him by Jesus. When all the other apostles were dead, Apostle John was still preaching truth and love.

Revelation 1:9 I am John, your brother. In Jesus we are partners in suffering and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos FOR PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD and speaking about Jesus.

Apostle John was exiled to an island to die and there he did. His preaching the truth and love of God was more than society could bear.

No man or woman goes to hell because of what they are, only because of what they refuse to become. The fishers of Galilee – Peter, Andrew, James, and John became fishers of men. They continue to cast their nets into the sea of the world catching men by what they became. Their jars of clay transformed into apostles of the Lamb. What you are will not send you to hell. What you refuse to become will. What is it that Jesus is calling you to become? He will transform your jar of clay. Apostle John is known for truth and love.

Other Related Sermons:

Revelation Chapter 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young