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SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST (Divine)
"Son of Thunder"
by
Noel M. Smith, P.G., O.P.C.

The Grand Lodge of Texas identifies two feast days. The first is June 24, Saint John the Baptist Day. The second is December 27, Saint John the Divine Day. No Stated Meetings shall be held on these days. Called Meetings may be held on June 24 for the installation of officers, and on either of such days to confer degrees or conduct funerals. No other business shall be attended to on either of such days. Should a Stated Meeting fall on either of such days it shall be held on the next following day which is not Sunday. This paper provides light on John the Divine.

In Hebrew, his name is Johanan. In Greek it is Ioannes. One translation tells us the name means "Yahweh has been gracious/shows favor." The New International Version of the Life Application Study Bible provides some insight on this John. It credits him with writing the fourth Gospel of the New Testament, which was probably written A.D. 85-90, that was after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Also John is credited with writing the three letters of John ( 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John) during the period A.D. 85-90, works that are similar in lit-erary style and in their teaching, as well as the book of Revelation in A.D. 95.

The Gospel of John is noticeably different from the preceding three gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, in the way it is presented. Accordingly, many feel it is better suited for devotional reading. It tends to testify that John was a disciple that Jesus truly loved.

John was one of the twelve disciples as shown in Mark 3:13-19. “Jesus went up on a mountain and called to Him those who waited, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles- that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and have the authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James son of Zebedee and his brother John, to them He gave the name Boanergas, which means Sons of Thunder; Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him."

John was one of the two disciples chosen by Jesus to prepare the Last Supper. Luke 22: 7-8 tells us, “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.

Paul lists John in Galatians 2:9 as one of the pillars of the Jerusalem church, along with Peter and James the brother of Jesus. The distinction of John is also recorded by Luke in the book of Acts, as he traveled with Peter. In Acts 3:1-10, a crippled beggar is healed. Peter and John spoke to the people proclaiming resurrection of the dead through Jesus, which disturbed the Sanhedrin so greatly, they had them jailed (Acts 4:1-22). On another occasion, they were dispatched to Samaria to impart the Holy Spirit to those who had "received the word of God" (Acts 8:14). The list continues in the Great Light.

John inspires us as Master Masons to become Sons of Thunder, that is, show a fiery temperament in continually sharing Masonic Light among all our brethren.

Noel M. Smith, 2000

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