Patmos John
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Patmos John
(Revelation 1.9-11)
Page 23

"I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: 'Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.'" (Revelation 1.9-11)

Island Prison

Patmos IslandTowards the end of his life, the Apostle John (6-c100 AD) the son of Zebedee was imprisoned on Patmos Island by the Roman authorities. He was banished during anti-Christian persecution and for being an Apostle. Patmos was a small Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea, about 50 miles offshore from the city of Ephesus. The author Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) in his "Natural History" reported that banishment was a common punishment for a number of offenses including magic and astrology. A prophecy was viewed by the Romans in the same way whether pagan, Jewish or Christian.

Political Implications

Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation, was perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Patmos was believed to have been the place where John under the direction of the Holy Spirit dictated to his scribe Procoros the Book of Revelation. Saint Procorus was one of seven deacons chosen to care for the poor in Jerusalem Acts 6.5 indicates "They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them."

Saint Procorus

Saint Procorus was one of the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus and is depicted in Orthodox iconography as the scribe of John the Evangelist or Saint John of Patmos. John of Patmos lived with Saint Pocorus in a cave on Patmos Island situated about halfway up the mountain along the road between the villages of Chora and Skala. Patmos was one of three islands on the coast of Greece to which political offenders were banished. As time went on many important leaders, including kings and princes, visited him to ask for his advice. John's "Cave of the Apocalypse" is still visited by Christian pilgrims today.

Whom Jesus Loved

Letters Alpha and OmegaIn his vision in Revelation 1, John of Patmos recognized Jesus immediately because he was close to him and was a disciple of his for three years. John walked and talked with him as a friend in Galilee. He had seen the radiant Son of God at the Transfiguration. He had even stood at the foot of Jesus' Cross and watched him die. John considered himself a special friend of Jesus and described himself touchingly as, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." However, here Jesus is not just a humble earthly teacher, but the Lamb of God, the glorious King "par excellence." Jesus is worthy of all honor and power!

"Patmos John"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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