Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Faithful Faves - 1 John

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

We are heading into the home stretch.

First John is when anyone reciting the books of the Bible knows they've got it and begins to pick up speed in the recitation....but it is a book to slow down and savor.

By the time John wrote his epistles and the book of Revelation, he was very likely the last of the twelve disciples still left on earth.   It was somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus when he penned these writings, and he had seen much since then.  John was a remarkably old man for the time in which he lived, which accounts for his frequent referral to those to whom he writes as 'dear children'.  His top concerns for his readers are that they continue in right relationships with God and with one another, avoiding deceiving teachings that were not in compliance with what John had taught. He begins his letter by reminding them why they could have confidence in what he had shared with them:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched -- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.  The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  We proclaim to you that we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.  And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. -- 1 Jn 1: 1 - 3 NIV

After sixtyish years, the immediacy of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus had turned into history; stories from grandpa's day. The majority of the people John ministered to probably weren't even alive when it happened.  Jerusalem had been sacked and the Jews sent into exile twenty to twenty five years earlier; the world had changed.  John reminds them that he was there with Jesus; he knew Jesus had been an actual human being, walking around and interacting with people.  He was an eye witness to all of it.

You can imagine how pained he had to have been to hear the beginnings of false teachings of who Jesus was and what he did emerging.  He knew the truth...and the passion of his heart was to share it and see it rooted and unshakeable in those who received you'll see in the next two weeks as we look at Second and Third John.

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