So after looking at the “what,” this moves us to the “who.” Who is the writer of this book, The Gospel According to John?
Who Wrote the Book?
Most people believe that the person who wrote this book was John the apostle. Those in the early church believed this, but I think you will find it interesting when you read your notes to see some of the agreements that affirm John the apostle wrote it.
Let’s look at John’s family. John’s father’s name was Zebedee. Not only was he a fisherman, so were his two sons–James, who was probably the oldest since he is usually mentioned first, and John, who was probably the younger brother.
John’s mother’s name was Salome and she was most likely an ambitious woman. She was the one who sought Jesus out and asked Him if when His kingdom came her two sons could be on His right and His left. Yet in spite of her ambition, she was also a woman of faith. She believed Jesus’s words about His future kingdom when He spoke about it. Salome took Jesus at His word and she was a faithful follower.
We see her at the cross observing the crucifixion of Jesus. We see her on the resurrection morning going to the tomb with the other women to anoint the body of Jesus with the spices, only to find that He wasn’t there anymore. So John’s mother was a faithful follower of Jesus right to the end.
John’s brother James was one of the first apostles who was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. He was killed by Herod. You can find that recorded in Acts 12:2.
John’s Relationship with Jesus
Typically, John does not talk about himself. He often refers to himself as the one Jesus loved. Not that Jesus loved John more than others, but John knew that Jesus loved him. John was not arrogant, he was confident. He was sure of Jesus’s love for him and so he called himself the one that Jesus loved.
He and his brother James were referred to as the “sons of thunder.” Maybe Jesus referred to them this way because they were bold but also maybe because they both had fiery tempers which is also recorded in the scriptures.
Whatever the case, John was one of the three who became very intimate with Jesus. Peter, James, and John were the three Jesus took to the mountain and they were given a glimpse of the pre-incarnate Christ and of Christ after the ascension. They were the three who met with Jesus in Gethsemane to pray before He faced the cross. And John was the one who went all the way to the cross with Jesus. That was how close he was to Jesus.
It was John to whom Jesus turned to, to care for His mother after Jesus died on the cross.
John outlived the 12 apostles and he was transformed from a “son of thunder” to the one whom Jesus loved, the aged apostle. He had a great influence on people through his life and his writings. John not only wrote this book but he also wrote 1, 2, & 3 John along with the book of Revelation.
One of the truths to live by that I believe we can take away from the life of John is this: