He probably felt as though his best days were far behind him. What an adventurous life had been his since that life-changing day on the shores of Galilee, a day when he and his brother were “mending their nets” and a Man called unto them to “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He would witness a miracle at a wedding, the conversion of a prominent Pharisee in the shadow of eventide, and a life-changing encounter with a shunned Samaritan woman beside a common well. He would be eyewitness to the healing of a friendless man near a pool of water and see the sight restored to a helpless man born blind. He would stand in awe as his friend Lazarus revived and walked out of a cold tomb, and would weep at the foot of a cross as his Friend took on the sin curse of the world. With boldness he would document the life of the Savior with one clear goal, “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God,” and with a pastor’s heart he would author three epistles encouraging believers, his “little children,” to walk in the light, to guard against false teachers, and to display Christian hospitality. Busy man, busy pen.
But now, this disciple “whom Jesus loved” found himself exiled on the tiny island of Patmos…lonely, secluded, isolated, and well-stricken in age. The glory days on the mount of transfiguration and beside the empty tomb were history. Patmos was part of a group of remote islands used for banishing people considered a threat to the Roman Empire. John’s faithful preaching of the gospel and his opposition to “emperor worship” didn’t sit well with the Roman authorities, so he would be exiled, his voice quieted, his pen silenced. But was God done with His disciple?
As this beloved, aged man prepared to worship his Friend and Savior in solitude “on the Lord’s day,” he would find need of his pen once more, for John was about to be overwhelmed by a prophetic and apocalyptic vision on equal footing with that given to the prophet Daniel centuries prior. The “Alpha and Omega,” with “head and hairs…white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes…a flame of fire,” would reveal to his senior saint future events and imagery in brilliant technicolor, on a sky-sized, three-dimensional, high-definition, screen of glory. And John was commanded to “write in a book…what thou seest.”
But amidst all the tribulation, judgment, pain, and punishment contained in that revelation, John would see, in my opinion, the best vision of all. He would witness “a new heaven and a new earth,” where there would “be no more night…no more death…no more sorrow…no more curse,” a day when those who have placed their faith and hope in the finished work of the Lamb of God “shall see his face” as we dwell in a city “that hath no need of the sun.” Wow, John certainly was not done with his pen!
When we reach those retirement years, when our body doesn’t always cooperate, when our strength is diminished, our eyes, dimmer, we are tempted to think that the glory days of ministry are behind us. But praise God, He never silences our pens, for there is always a work to be done for Him. Until we draw our last breath, we can continue to share that hope that has enlightened our souls. And in these dark days in which we find ourselves, that hope is so desperately needed by a world spiraling out of control. Let’s always be ready to share the “reason of the hope” that is within us!
I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3314-62b940823ecfe' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3314&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3314-62b940823ecfe' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3314-62b940823ecfe' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>