This book is one of three epistles, or letters that are attributed to John the apostle, who wrote the Gospel of John. He is the disciple that is often called “John the Beloved” because it is thought that he is the one referred to six different times in the Gospel of John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He is also the disciple who was with Mary at the foot of the cross, an into whose care Jesus gave Mary.
And as an side, of course, the word “Gospel” means Good News! Isn’t that right, Chuck Tomasi?
The letters were not written to a specific church, but were intended to be circulated around to all the churches. It was to help them and encourage them in their devotion to Jesus, to remind them that false teachers would be around, and to emphasize that their love of God and people was paramount, especially other believers.
John begins chapter one much like he did his Gospel. He refers to Jesus as the Word, and he affirms that the Word has existed from the beginning. And he says that he, John, personally saw and heard Him.
He says that it is through Jesus that we can have a relationship with God, and that when we have that, we have a relationship with other believers.
This is important because if we say we believe, and yet don’t love each other, we are fooling ourselves.
And then at the end of chapter one we read one of the foundational truths of the Gospel. John writes in verse nine, “God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” Of course, God sets a high standard for us, but He knows how weak and fallible we are. But because of what Jesus did on the cross, this forgiveness is available to all who believe.
And in the opening verses of chapter two, John continues this thought. And this one just blows me away. Did you know that you are a topic of conversation between Jesus and the Father? You are. And I am. Listen to this. John writes: I’m writing this to you so that you will not sin. Yet, if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, who has God’s full approval. He speaks on our behalf when we come into the presence of the Father.”
When you and I sin, Jesus looks at the Father and says, “Forgive him, Father. I already paid for that sin with my blood.” What better advocate could there possibly be? Such Good News!
Of course, there are a lot of golden nuggets of truth in these first three chapters, but I’m going to leave you with that last one.
What’s your favorite thought from today’s reading?