Lay it to Heart

How Did the Apostle John Really Die?

I have heard many times that all of the apostles died violent deaths except John. This is just not true.
Matthew 20: (bold emphasis mine)

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

What was the cup? What was the baptism? In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Matthew 26:42). The cup did not refer to his sinless life. The disciples could not do this. The cup did not refer to his miracles. He did not ask for those to go away in the garden. The cup was mentioned in the future tense. The cup was the death that Jesus was to die. That was what he was talking about to James and John. Jesus prophesied that John would die a violent death. Acts 12:1-2 accounts, "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword." The prophecy was fulfilled with respect to James as he died by the sword. Since Jesus does not lie, we know that John was to die a violent death as well. Any tradition which does not differs from this is false.

1 Timothy 1:2-3 reads, "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do." Many stories from history appear to be no more than fables, legends, rumors or gossip.

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