John’s Letters: Living in the Light of God’s Love

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


As we launch into our look at John’s letters, it’s important to note that we are reading the words of an old man. About six decades have passed since John lived alongside Jesus. And now he is writing to believers who are hurting because some of their church members have recently left, raising questions about whether Jesus had actually taken on real, physical flesh.

This helps explain how John begins his first letter, diving in with a description of something tangible. As awkward as the grammar feels, it pushes us to notice the senses he is describing—hearing, seeing, touching. What is he referring to?

Actually, the question is not what he refers to, but who?

He is writing about his experience of “the Word of life”—Jesus Christ.

The writers of the New Testament books were eyewitnesses of something that really happened. From a distance, it is easy for us to treat the Bible as if it is an ancient myth. But the Son of God actually came into this world, and what the Bible describes actually happened.

John wanted the readers of his letter to know that Jesus really did exist physically. He actually came, really died, and literally rose from the dead. Why? Because he was on a relational mission. God so loved the world that He gave us His Son. Jesus so loved the world that He gave us His relationship with His Father!

John was so thrilled by this good news that he wrote about it so that his readers would come to share in it. The good news is so good it simply has to be given away. And when it is, our joy will not diminish but will only grow!

Reflect: If you struggle to share the message of Jesus with others, think about the difference it would make to stop feeling pressured to proclaim the gospel, but instead to grow more and more thrilled with the gospel so that it overflows to others. Pray that this will be true for you.