John was the brother of the apostle James; he was also the son of Zebedee a fisherman of Galilee. His mother’s name was Salome who is believed to be a sister of Jesus’ mother Mary.
John, his brother James and the apostles Peter and Andrew were all partners in a fishing business prior to their calls by Jesus to follow Him, Zebedee was also a partner.
It is said that John owned a home in Jerusalem and that it is possible that the interview Nicodemus had with Jesus was held there.
The apostle John rose to a position of influence within Christianity and shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, he moved to Ephesus in modern day, Turkey. He became the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a special relationship with other churches in the area.
John’s brother, James, was the first of the apostles to die and John was the last. All of the apostles met a violent death, however, John died peacefully in Ephesus of old age in the year 100 AD.
There is a church tradition, which says, that while John was living in Ephesus, John had with him Mary, the mother of Jesus, for a few years. While in Ephesus, by order of the Roman emperor Domitian, John was exiled to an island called Patmos. In what is known as the cave of the Apocalypse located on this island, the sacred text of the book of Revelation was given to the apostle John by Jesus!
Other New Testament books accredited to John are the Gospel of John, along with 1st, 2nd and 3rd John. When he was released from exile, he returned to Ephesus and lived till the time of the Roman emperor Trajan.
There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples. At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, “Little children, love one another!” After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, “Master, why do you always say this?” “It is the Lord’s command,” was his reply. “And if this alone be done, it is enough!”