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Last Apostle Standing

Words of Faith Final

Last Apostle Standing

Words of Faith 11-2-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

www.faithfellowshipweb.com

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Revelation 1

    [9]  I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

 

      John was stuck. He was on a prison island in his old age. He might have wondered if God really knew what He was doing in all this. Or if he deserved such a place. But we hear nothing of the sort. In fact, we learn a few things about the demeanor of an older John the Apostle and the circumstance he was in.

      As John began this account, he did not refer to himself as anything more than “your brother and partner.” He could have claimed a lot more on his letterhead. To our thinking, John was a giant. He was a sort of a spiritual big-shot. One of the original Twelve, he was known by various titles-- John the Evangelist, John the Elder, and John the Beloved, and later, John of Patmos or John the Patriarch.

       John had been part of the inner circle of Jesus’ Disciples— Peter, James, and John. These three witnessed many things that others did not see. They were there for the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead. They saw the Transfiguration of Christ on the mountain. They were close to Jesus during his travail at the Garden of Gethsemane.

         And it was John that alone remained at the cross and was charged with the care of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Across the Christian world, he was probably thought of as a pretty important guy.

        He might have even reflected on how much had happened since he first heard Jesus say, “Come, follow me. I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-22). About sixty-five years had passed since that day. John was now at least 85 years old. John was most likely the youngest of the Twelve disciples at the beginning, but now he was the last Apostle standing. The crowd of original followers was gone.

        We think that John died around AD 98, but he may have lived into the second century AD.  As the last Apostle standing, he did not defend his credentials in the way Paul sometimes did. He could have been very proud of all these experiences, but we see nothing of the sort.

        It has been observed that aging either increases one’s pride or deepens one’s humility. For John, it was the latter. John counted himself simply as a brother and partner in tribulation, the kingdom, and patient endurance.

       We can learn a lot from the demeanor of the grand old Apostle, John. If anyone had a reason to be "full of himself," it might have been John. But the years had taught John lessons in careful humility before the Lord. We, too, are called to be a brother and companion. We also are called to carefully reflect on the suffering that comes with following Christ, the Kingdom that He preached, and the patient endurance that is ours in Jesus.

 

        Lord God, teach me the humility and careful walk with You that will open my heart to the future You have for me. Keep me focused on the future rather than dwelling in the past. Give me a heart of humility. In Jesus' Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.