John was one of the twelve original friends of Jesus (sometimes called 'the Disciples'). He came from a family that owned a fishing business on a lake in the northern part of Israel. Jesus saw him working as a fisherman and invited John and his brother to join him – this time ‘catching’ people not fish!

John was one of Jesus’ closest friends – along with Peter and James – and he got to share in some of the most important moments of Jesus’ life.

John wrote some of the books in the New Testament and passed on to us many of the things he had seen Jesus do and heard him say. We think he spent many of his later years on a Greek island called Patmos, and then died in the city of Ephesus in Turkey.

John was a leading figure among the early Friends of Jesus. But it took some time before he really understood the full meaning of the teaching of Jesus. When some people were slow to welcome Jesus, John was angry and only too quick to reject them. He also hoped Jesus would treat him better than the other disciples. Sometimes John could be selfish and quick-tempered!

But over time John came to understand that the message of Jesus was about putting other people first, and mostly about the importance of love. His books talk a lot about loving God and loving other people, so it seems as though he grew into a changed and better person.

John changed so much that when Jesus was dying he chose John to take care of his mother (Mary) when he was gone. A fiery fisherman became a close friend!

We read this about John in Acts 4: 13, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” (New Living Tanslation)