February 15. I John 1:1-4
It's Monday morning and the third week of our study. We are halfway through and I've enjoyed it SO much! It's been fun to discover more about John, "the disciple Jesus loved!" Now, we get to look at how John writes a letter. In fact, we are going to read all three of the carefully preserved letters that John wrote to the churches surrounding Ephesus, which was his home base in his later adult years until he was banished to the Island of Patmos. In fact, these letters probably occurred during a time of increased persecution, as John was exiled, we believe, shortly after he wrote them.
We only have four little verses to read this morning, but they are packed! John never introduces himself by name, although other New Testament writers do. Not sure why? Was it a sense of modesty? Was it safer for him not to directly name himself in those dangerous times of persecution? In any case, although we have it on good authority that these were written by him and no one really disputes this, he doesn't name himself. He does, however, declare quite clearly that he is a witness to all that Jesus did during his public ministry on earth and therefore a reliable source to his readers.
We also get a clear indication of John's priorities and reasons for writing this first letter. He swiftly gets down to business just like he did in his gospel and starts with praise "for the one who existed from the beginning." Jesus always gets top billing with John! And, we discover that he wrote this letter to the churches and also, of course, to all who read it like we are, for the following purposes: 1. To reveal Him and share Who He is. 2. To testify that eternal life comes from Jesus. 3. To welcome us to the fellowship of those who know Him. 4. To share with us the great joy that comes from knowing we are saved, loved and destined for Heaven.
John was old when he wrote this. He'd lived many years since Jesus ascended into Heaven. He's still full of zeal. His enthusiasm has not waned. He is eager to tell again the great story of God made flesh and dwelling among us! OH I want to grow up to be like John! May I never tire of telling the story of how I was redeemed!
My verse: " 1 John 1:4 "We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy."
My response: Just like Jesus said in the gospel of John (John 17:13 ... I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy."), now John says he wants his readers to fully share in his joy that Jesus had bequeathed to him. Cool!! Dear Lord and God, how amazed and thankful I am that the state of the Christian - despite the turmoil in which we live - should be Joy!