Homily on the Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Oh, how nice, oh how superb is the identify of the beloved disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ – the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.I feel that if our Lord Jesus Christ known as His Forerunner and Baptist the best of all these born of ladies, then after this the best one could be the beloved disciple of the Lord Jesus, and after him the good Foremost Apostle Paul.

All the Apostles of Christ completed an immeasurably nice deed: they entered into warfare, into mortal warfare with the darkness of this world. They dispersed this darkness – pagan darkness, horrible darkness – the darkness of innumerable sins.

All of them, apart from John the Theologian, beloved by the Lord, ended their lives as martyrs. They accepted the Cross of Christ over your entire universe. They put an finish to pagan wickedness and darkness, – to begin with and most of all of the holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Only by the grace of their Holy Gospels did the sunshine of Christ shine over the entire world. Isn’t it immeasurably nice? Didn’t they want a particular energy of His grace despatched down from God? Could they, with their power, their thoughts and coronary heart, do that? Oh, in fact they could not.

And we all know that to all of them had been despatched down, in accordance with the promise of the Lord earlier than His Ascension to heaven, a particular, biggest grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God. All obtained tongues of fireplace on their heads and charm, nice grace for preaching the gospel of Christ in all languages. We know that the Holy Apostle Paul, who is typically known as the second founding father of Christianity after the Lord Jesus Christ, obtained a particular, biggest grace, which we examine in his epistle to the Corinthians.

Listen to what the holy Apostle himself says about this: “I do know a person in Christ who, fourteen years in the past, (whether or not within the physique I don’t know, whether or not out of the physique I don’t know: God is aware of) was caught as much as the third heaven. And I learn about such an individual (I don’t know whether or not within the physique or out of the physique: God is aware of) that he was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable phrases that an individual can not retell” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

The Holy Apostle Paul, in fact, was talking about himself, however out of his modesty, out of humility, he didn’t communicate instantly, however as if he knew, he heard it from one other particular person. But we all know, we all know, in fact, that these phrases consult with him. We don’t know what sort of third heaven that is, known as paradise, we solely know he was caught up into paradise, he heard such phrases that it’s unimaginable to convey on earth, which solely those that are caught as much as the third heaven are worthy, as he was caught up.

We have no idea whether or not he was the one considered one of all of the Apostles who was caught as much as the third heaven, however we are able to suppose that others had been additionally caught as much as paradise, to be able to study there, to listen to inexpressible phrases there, to be able to preach the gospel to all creation.

We undoubtedly know in regards to the nice Apostle John the Theologian from his personal phrases, with which he begins his nice Revelation in regards to the future destinies of the entire world.

Listen with what phrases he begins his Revelation: “I, John, your brother and companion in tribulation and within the kingdom and persistence of Jesus Christ, was on the island known as Patmos, for the phrase of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I used to be within the spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, which mentioned: ‘I’m the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; what you see, write in a e-book and ship it to the church buildings.’” (Rev. 1:9/11).

He doesn’t say that he was caught as much as the third heaven. He obtained a Revelation from God by way of an angel despatched to him on the island of Patmos, the place he was exiled for his preaching in regards to the Lord Jesus Christ.

But he undoubtedly says that he heard what he wrote from God Himself by way of the Angel despatched to him. He says that he “was within the spirit” when he heard the revelation from the Angel of God. This implies that he was in a particular, a lot increased, far more enthusiastic temper, within the non secular capability to understand what’s inaccessible to all folks.

This is, in essence, the identical factor that occurred to the Apostle Paul when he heard unspeakable phrases.

The holy Apostle John additionally heard unspeakable phrases instantly from God and from the mouth of an angel, which can’t be conveyed to dwelling folks. It was like a preparation for a terrific sermon in regards to the Lord Jesus Christ.

And all of you who’ve the New Testament know, you realize properly, how nice is the importance of this direct Divine Revelation, which the Apostle John obtained.

How nice is the Gospel written by him. Among all of the books written by the geniuses of mankind, the wisest folks and even holy folks, there isn’t any e-book that, within the energy of phrases, within the greatness of examples, within the data of the mysteries of God, might be in contrast with the Gospel written by John the Theologian.

You understand how amazingly deep and extraordinary is the primary chapter of the Gospel of John, which we hear solely yearly on the liturgy of the best feast of the Resurrection of Christ.

On this Gospel of the Theologian lies an unusually shiny seal of the best knowledge, the best data of the mysteries of God. And in that case, then, in fact, it have to be mentioned about him that he might obtain this energy of the phrase solely instantly from God Himself.

Let us give reward and thanksgiving to God for the truth that by way of the mouth of the good Apostle and Evangelist He revealed to us His biggest, most holy and most important mysteries. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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