Updated: Jan 27
What happened to John during the time that he wrote the book of Revelation? We know he was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos for more than two years before being executed. How bad would that be, not knowing from one day to the next if today might be the day your enemy would kill me? That would be a very horrible existence. John would also have the struggle to remain faithful to our Lord God.
Our Lore God could have intervened at any time to save John's life; however, he did not. Would that not make you wonder if John could hold to his faith for as long as he did? Did John speak with The Holy Spirit? Probably so, since The Holy Spirit was telling John all there was to know concerning the book of Revelation. This was written in the holy scripture at various places, and it sounds like this.
"Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the Churches."
Do you remember hearing this phrase? It tells you everything you need to know concerning the fact that it was The Holy Spirit who gave John the essence of his vision of Revelation.
After writing down the book of Revelation, the day came when John was allowed to leave his prison. The local Sadducee told John that he was free to leave at any time. John gathered all of his gear together; walked out of that prison a free man, as long as he did not return to preaching the gospel. However, knowing John, it did not last long, and in due time John was back in prison.
For several years, this went on before enough people in the area became Christian and demanded that the local judge, who happened to be a Sadducee, allow John to go free for good since he has long ago served out his sentence. Under so much pressure, the local Sadducee judge agreed to release John no matter if he continued to preach the gospel or not. In the end, John died an old man and never had to return to prison. He finally went home to his creator at the ripe old age of 89. Today John's remains are buried in a cemetery with JOHN REST IN PEACE on the headstone. To this day, no one knows that it is John's resting place, an Apostle of our Lord Christ Jesus.
After John's death, the Church in Patmos began to hire workers to expand the Church and used quite a bit of money to decorate and make it even more inviting. The Churches membership had grown quite a bit since John first arrived on the Greek Island.
One day a man came to the Island and wanted to find where John the Apostle was buried. The townspeople took the man to John's grave. The man looked at the headstone and swore that he would never be buried in a tomb. What a strange thing to say, thought the townspeople. The man left town and returned a few days later. When the man returned, he asked to look upon John's body. John has been dead for nearly a year; why in the world would you want to look upon his body? The man explained that it was necessary to make sure that it was John. The townspeople asked the man why he had not done this the first time he visited John's grave. The man replied that he did not have the evidence he needed to identity John's body, and now he does. How long will it take, the townspeople wanted to know? Only a few minutes at most, and then I can be on my way. Alright, I guess that will work, the townspeople replied in unison. Opening John's tomb released foul-smelling gases. Fortunately, only a few people who represented the Church were in attendance. It only took the man a few minutes to identify the body of John. After he nodded his head, which indicated he was through, the tomb was closed. No one asked of the man how he identified the body as that of John.
Years passed, and the townspeople moved on with their lives, missing John very much since he was such an excellent speaker and taught them so much. The townspeople felt they could never repay John for all that he had done for them.
The town was getting ready to attend Sabbath services when a messenger arrived from Athens requesting that John's body be brought to Athens for a proper burial and an exceptional service to honor him. The townspeople sent back a reply that read in part, "No, we will never agree to that request." The matter was dropped since no Greek authority showed up to contest their decision.
Several days later, another man from Athens showed up and asked to see John's burial chamber. Again, the people were wondering why was there so much interest in John's body? This time the man was more insistent that John's body should lie in rest at a proper memorial setting. However, the townspeople were having none of that. Eventually, the Roman representative stopped coming, and all was well with the people of Patmos. Something dramatic had happened in the Roman Empire. Roman citizens were now free to worship as Christians. Caesar Augustus freed the slaves by mandate. All the people rejoiced over all the good news which they heard almost daily.
In due time, the Roman representative made his appearance once again, and all the townspeople were upset by the second visit to John's grave. The citizens of Patmos were sure that he would show up with Caesar's decree stating that John's remains were to be moved to Rome. So far, it had not happened. When the representative began to speak, he informed everyone that Caesar had decided to allow John's remains to stay in Patmos for the foreseeable future. He wanted them to know that Caesar Augustus thought it would be pleasant for Rome's visitors to visit the tomb where John was laid to rest. The Roman representative recognized how much everyone loved John, so John's remains will stay in Patmos for the foreseeable future. "That is all I have to say," he said. "Please enjoy the remainder of your day."
This welcome news lifted the spirits of the people of Patmos. Later, they began to realize what an honor it would be for them to allow John's remains to go to Rome so that many people could think of John and how much he contributed to the current conditions in the Roman Empire. Eventually, the people of Patmos did allow John's body to be removed from the tomb. They laid John to rest and now sent him on his way to Rome. One dignitary traveled from Patmos to see where they had interned John's body and was very surprised that John's remains lay in rest in a mausoleum made of polished pink marble. It was gorgeous. They all rejoiced at the news and celebrated, knowing they had eventually done a good thing by allowing John's body to be interned in Rome.
So, what can we take away from a story such as this? Might we say that it is better to be generous from the beginning rather than holding out selfishly thinking of your own interest and concerns? Granted, Patmos's people loved John the Apostle very much, although they were a bit selfish with his remains. In time, Patmos' citizens concluded that a more significant problem must be addressed. That concern was that it was more important for John to influence people to our Lord Christ Jesus even after his life had ended on Earth. This finally sank into the minds of Patmos's people, so they made the correct decision and allowed John's remains to be used to inspire others to do such great things for our Lord Christ Jesus. Many years after John's body was laid to rest at the Roman mausoleum, his influence upon the world continued. So ends the saga of John the Apostle's final days on this Earth.
Inspired by our Lord Christ Jesus.
Typed by Wayne Hill
Trinity Insights Publications