The words of Martin Luther King still echo around the globe. At present Nelson Mandela in many ways epitomizes Dr King and his vision for a new humanity. Inevitably these great men move from this earthly scene.
That’s true also of one man who died around AD 95 on a small Greek island named Patmos where he was in prison – despite being a very old man. It’s this man, named John, who wrote the words in bold above. He had a vision, a dream. He saw….. And he wrote it down in a book.
This man John was in many respects even more credible than Dr King or Nelson Mandela because he was a contemporary of Jesus Christ and imprisoned for following Jesus. Some 60 years before he wrote the words in bold above he had seen Jesus die on a cross outside Jerusalem. And he had seen him risen from that death – alive, living and well.
In his early years John ran a fishing business (like several in Jersey today) with his father and brother and other employees. John’s mother was very ambitious for her sons. She even went especially to Jesus around AD 30 to ask that the two of them have special positions of privilege in heaven – something which was politely refused as not in the power of Jesus to grant.
In a highly emotional moment John had been given a very special task by Jesus. When Jesus’ life was almost at an end on that Roman cross, Jesus asked John to look after Jesus’ mother as though she was John’s own mother. Jesus’ mother was present at the time, watching her dear son’s life ebb away in painful suffering. John did so. He took her into his own home.