Monday, November 22, 2010

KNOWING JESUS LIKE JOHN

 KNOWING JESUS LIKE JOHN
A. Brother

“We proclaim what 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.
We write this to make our joy complete.”
1 John 1:3,4

Here is a man who saw and heard Jesus Christ, who touched Him, who talked with Him, who watched Him, who heard Him.  John knew Jesus, perhaps more intimately than any of the other apostles, because out of the twelve, he was known as “the one whom Jesus loved.”  He was closest to Christ.  At the last supper before His crucifixion it was John who sat next to Jesus.  When hanging on the cross dying, our Lord gave over the care of His own mother to John.

It is John who brings us into the presence of Christ most intimately in his gospel and in his letters.  He deepened His walk with Christ, and for so long was His companion, that He was ready when chosen to be given the “revelation of Jesus Christ”, which we call the Book of Revelation.  This was entrusted to John, in the wisdom of God, because He was the close companion of the One of whom the revelation spoke.  He could be trusted to faithfully dispense it to God’s servants.  Giving out the truth about Christ was what made John’s “joy complete”.

So, if we want to know Christ, shouldn’t we turn to John frequently?  His gospel, his letters?  Yes, I’d say we should.  Yet he is often the most ignored apostle. 

Why?  Perhaps because John gives us the Light and Truth of Christ in the simplest, most down-to-earth terms.  That can be uncomfortable.  John knew Jesus so well He could distill the essence of the Christ-life down to its essentials, and take away all our excuses, all our fancy reasoning, all our convoluted attempts at religion, and pin us down to what is real.

John proclaimed what he saw and heard.  He loved Christ, and wanted everyone to have the fellowship he had with the Father and the Son.  That was his joy.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  For John, everything in life was Life in the Son.  It was all about knowing Jesus so that we could be like Jesus.  In the beginning was Christ, and in the end would be Christ.  Nothing else mattered to John.

And for John, as you read his entire letter, as I urge you to do today, immediately, this love and closeness to Christ would cause us to obey Him.  No rules and regulations.  No law.  Just love for Christ, which brought about obedience. 

For John, that obedience means we will forsake sin, and have love for our brethren. 

We will lay down our lives for one another if we are truly children of God. 

If we know Christ, according to John, we will not love the world, and we will be hated by the world, because we will live like Jesus, who was hated by the world.  Christ is Light, and we are Light if we live in Him.  The darkness hates the Light. 

If we know Jesus, we will walk like Jesus, doing right, living in love, and giving up our own life for others.

John knew the confidence that comes from walking in Christ’s Truth and Light and Love.  He said that we become more confident as we take on the righteousness of Christ, and we become more and more like Jesus.  Our love increases, our righteousness increases, and that gives us more and more confidence in God, more and more faith.

Remember, for each of us today it is all about Christ.  It is all about getting to know the Son of God, so that we may know the Father with Him.  It is not about us, and our striving or working to fulfill religious duties, or ministry, or creating some kind of great Christian life.

John says, lay it all down and come sit at the feet of Jesus.  He will make you righteous in reality.  He will make you a child of God.  He will give you love for the brethren.  He will set you apart from the world.

No amount of fancy preaching or reading of the latest books, or anything we do, will amount to anything.  It is all about Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  It is all about getting close to Him, spending time with Him.  Knowing Christ intimately is the narrow road that brings us into the presence of God, and gives us the confidence we need, the faith we need, the love we need to live this New Life.  He is all.

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