John and his brother, James were both fishermen who became apostles of Jesus. They along with Peter were said to make up a close inner circle with Christ. They alone were with Him on various momentous occasions. It is likely that James and John were fleshly first-cousins of Jesus. During one of His last utterances on the cross, He turned the care of His mother, Mary over to John.
The apostle, John did not refer to himself by name in his account of the gospel. It is highly likely that he was the “other disciple” of John the Baptist that left with Andrew and followed Jesus.
John was very active, along with Peter and the other apostles in nurturing the church in its earliest days in Jerusalem. It is thought that he spent many years in and around Jerusalem. In later years, he moved to Ephesus and it was in this area that he wrote five books of the New Testament.
The Gospel According to John was written about A.D. 80, several years after the other New Testament authors had written their works. He probably wrote it from Ephesus. John’s account was in a more accurate chronological order than that of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
John’s account of the life and teachings of Jesus focuses more upon His divinity than that of the other accounts. Note that he began by placing the Word (Christ) at the beginning of creation.
The purpose for John’s writing is found near the end of his narrative. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Known as the apostle of love, John wrote extensively about God’s love for man and the love that man must have for Him and for one another.