I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…
I. BROTHER AND COMPANION. He does not write as a lord over them, but as one of themselves. He is one of the many "brethren" in Asia; one of the "household of faith." He is no stranger, no master or ruler, but truly a part of themselves, who needed their sympathy and love even more than they needed his. Not a brother only, but a "companion": a co-partner with them in all things; a sharer with them in the same faith and hope, the same sorrow and joy.
II. BROTHER AND COMPANION IN TRIBULATION. There was tribulation in the Churches then, as now; in some cases it was "much tribulation" (Acts 14:22), or "great tribulation" (Revelation 2:22; Revelation 7:14). "Weeping endured for a night" (Psalm 30:5); for this is the night, and it is the time of tears. What John suffered, these Churches suffered; what they suffered, he suffered: for the sympathy between all the members of the body was quick and instantaneous in these days of love. Sympathy between the members of Christ's body is little known in these last days; so many non-conducting materials have prevented the communication. The world has come in; false brethren have come in; the members do not realise the vitality of their connection with the Head. The links are broken; the fine nerves that carried the spiritual feeling through every part have frozen or become insensible, if not dead. Who of us appreciates this deep, true spiritual union, with which no external unity can intermeddle, either to hinder or to help?
III. BROTHER AND COMPANION IN THE KINGDOM. The kingdom belongs alike to all the members of the one body from the beginning. One in sorrow, one in joy; one in shame, one in glory; one in tribulation, one in triumph!
IV. BROTHER AND COMPANION IN THE PATIENCE OF JESUS CHRIST. Until that kingdom come, there is need of patience; patience such as all the saints have shown in the days of their pilgrimage; the patience exhibited by the Master Himself; the patience of faith and hope; the patient waiting for the kingdom. Be patient unto the coming of the Lord. Be patient under wrong, and suffering, and weariness, and hope deferred.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.