Commentary on Gospel of John /4/
Gospel of John, When & Where ?
St. John wrote the Gospel on the humid and uphill Greek island of Patmos while in exile (Rev.1:9). When St.John went to prison, he was the acting leader of the Church in Ephesus. This church was first built by St. Paul and is also where St. Timothy committed his service to. St.John also served diligently at the Church of Ephesus until his time of imprisonment. Leaving us with no doubt that this Church has had the influence of the greatest fathers in Christian History. Also a reason for its ability to preserve goodness in a world filled with cruelty. In a time when civilization meant focusing on things that are carnal and temporal, the Church of Ephesus had its mind set on the heavenly and everlasting deeds. In the land where idols were worshiped, this Church lived for the glory of The Lord. The Church of Ephesus understood it's rightful place to be at the right hand side of Christ, which is also made evident when we read The Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph 1:21, 2:6). However today, let alone the Church, the city itself is down to its remains. It is buried under the sands, because as it has been told in the Book of Revelation, the Church had forsaken the love it had at first (Rev 2:4).
St. John's final service to the Church was the Revelation he received from The Lord (Rev 2:1-7). Much of the Revelation of St.John was written while he was on the island of Patmos. An island is nature's own version of a prison. Many would not dare to attempt escape out of fear of the water body surrounding the island. An island would only be considered a site for leisure when a ferry is available nearby. The moment the ferry leaves the island, all persons on the island will remain prisoners in theory until another ferry arrives to help them off the island.
Even though St. John seemed to be shut off from the world, the heavens were open to receive him. No matter how well the kingdoms of men on earth may restrain the surrounding of St. John, they could not keep him from the gates of heaven. The reality of this was very well pleasant for St. John, for it's much better to have it as such rather than having the freedom of one's surrounding with the denial of access to the greater destination, the Kingdom of God. It was not the Island itself or the fact that St. John was imprisoned that made him worthy of the Revelation he received. It was that he was in the Spirit on the day of The Lord (Rev 1:10).
In the Old Testament, the Day of The Lord was also known as the Sabbath. Even though the day may differ than that of the Old Testament, the original idea of it remains fundamental for both days. Sabbath is a day we rest in the flesh and think of the Lord in spirit. The difference in which the Jews celebrate the Sabbath compared to the Christians lies on the fact that they honor the day itself while we make use of the day to honor The Lord. Sabbath is not a law simply drawn from the Old Testament but rather a law of Creation (Gen 2:2). We were created with the purpose to make time to rest and worship The Lord. Even our flesh tends to yearn for the day it rests. Sabbath is neither a family nor a vacation day. Sabbath is the day of The Lord. If we choose to spend this day in the desires of the flesh we will lose the Revelation at hand. However, if we are present in the Spirit on this day, we will receive a revelation that covers far beyond many generations to come.
St. John wrote the Gospel on the island of Patmos around the time of 90 A.D. St. John lived the longest amongst the apostles. Revelation, which happens to be the very last Book of the Bible, was also written by St. John. Which is why he was able to document events which the authors of the other Gospels were not able to. This St. John is believed to have not died at all (John 21:23). If he has not died as yet, it remains inevitable for him to experience death. The years of the Apostles were from 33-100 A.D. St.John completed the service of the very last apostle on 96 A.D.
May the Lord bless us with much Revelation of our own.