1 John is by far and away my favorite book in the New Testament. It’s short and sweet while at the same time, rich and full of truth. One of the major themes of this short epistle written by Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, is the theme of love. (What a fitting theme for this Ash Wednesday which happens to fall on Valentine’s Day this year.) 1 John gushes with this idea that love is what marks a true disciple of Jesus.
If anyone would know about true love, it would be John. He was known as “the beloved disciple” and he experienced an amazingly intimate relationship with Jesus during His earthly ministry. The Gospels point to this fact over and over. John is pictured reclining closest to Jesus at the Last Supper. When Jesus was dying on the cross, Scripture tells us John stood at the foot of the cross and as He was dying, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to John. John was apart of the inner circle of 3 disciples whom Jesus confided in the most. John, along with Peter and James, were the only disciples to experience the transfiguration and him and Peter were the first (after the women) to run to the Empty Tomb on Easter morning. All of these experiences and more, make him extremely qualified to plumb the depths of the significance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
What I also love about 1 John is that it reads almost like poetry and is full of mystic symbolism such as the dichotomy of light and darkness and the metaphors of walking and abiding in Christ. I’m pretty pumped to delve more into some of my favorite topics such as true Christian love, light versus darkness and our adoption as children into the family of God.
Every Wednesday of Lent, I hope to post my thoughts on each chapter of 1 John. I hope you’ll join me in studying this rich text and I pray we will see something new and transformative through our study each week. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts or questions. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for joining me on this journey.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 (ESV)
*The image above is from “The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection” by Eugène Burnand. This painting hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.