St. John and his harsh response to a heretic

St. John and his harsh response to a heretic

St. John, the son of Zebedee received direct appointment from Lord Jesus to be an Apostle. He became Jesus’ beloved disciple by accompanying his master during the hours of his Passion. Jesus at his last hour had faithfully handed over his mother to St. John.

After the crucifixion and joyful resurrection of his master, the saint took the Gospel to proclaim to the outer world. The seriousness with which he took the truth of the Gospel was revealed in his response to a heretic, which was recorded in the 2nd century book “Against Heresies” by St. Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a disciple of St. Polycarp, who was connected directly to St. John by being his disciple. It was from his master that Irenaeus retrieved information concerning St. John the Apostle.

Cerinthus was a heretic who lived towards the end of the 1st century. He denied the Virgin Birth, opposed Jesus was the Christ and taught that Christians had to follow the Mosaic Law. Once, John had entered into a public bath house where Cerinthus was inside. When John noticed Cerinthus he ran out of the building crying out to those with him, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within!” (Against Heresies, 3.3.4).

St. John is being called as the Apostle of Charity. There exists a story in connection with his faith in Christ. He was ordered to be dipped in boiling oil by Emperor Dometian. But he was unhurt from the sizzling hot oil by God’s protection. Angered emperor again banished him to the island of Pathmos for a year. Compared to other Apostles, St. John died of extreme old age at the age of 100.