My wife and I are “hand holders.” We always have been. We hold hands while watching television and when we go to the movies. We hold hands when we ride in the car together. We hold hands when we walk together. The interesting thing about holding hands while we walk is that I’m exactly 12 inches taller than she is. One might anticipate that we’d have trouble matching our steps since I’m so much taller, but the fact is that even though I am taller there is only a one inch difference in our inseams. This makes it easy for us to keep in step while we walk.
When our children were little it was more of a challenge. Their legs were significantly shorter and their steps were smaller. To hold the hand of a small child and walk together can be difficult, especially if they have their own sense of direction and where they want to go. Walking with a small child is one of the metaphors the apostle John probably had in mind when he wrote his three epistles nestled in the back of your New Testament.
John wrote to a group of believers who were a mess. They struggled with habitual sin. They found it difficult to love each other. They tended to be materialistic. They were unable to discern truth from error and tolerated false teachers, often incorporating false doctrine into their own beliefs. But rather than address their behaviors, John chose to address their theology. For John, right belief results in right behavior. When you think about it, that principle is not only true of us individually, its true of us corporately as well.
The apostle John, who penned this letter, could speak of Jesus authoritatively. After all, he was a historical contemporary with Christ. The book of 1 John is divided into two parts. In the first half of the book John’s theme follows his statement that God is Light (1:5-3:10). In the second half, John wrote that God is Love (3:11-5:21) and expounds upon that claim. John’s simple goal is that the readers of his letter would know how to walk in light and walk in love.
1 John 1:1-4 serves as the prologue to the book. Its not like other epistles in the New Testament with the traditional self introduction, followed by the salutation to the intended recipient, followed by an expression of well wishes usually in the form of a prayer. John got right to the business at hand. This week I’m going to post some reflections from his prologue. Thanks for following timdeatrick.com. You can receive these posts in your inbox by subscribing to this blog. Try it out!