This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7 ESV
The apostle John, in the Epistle of John refers to one of the disciples as, “The disciple Jesus loved”. It is almost unanimous that John, himself, was the disciple, “whom Jesus loved”. It seems that John had a closer relationship with Jesus than any of the other disciples. Jesus and John were essentially “best friends.” Jesus entrusted John with the care of His mother, gave John the vision of the transfiguration, allowed John to witness His most amazing miracles, and later gave John the Book of Revelation. Church history tells us that the apostle John lived into the A.D. 90s and was the last surviving apostle. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke are remarkably similar, not only in the outline of the narratives but also the nature and content of the teachings including the style, the language, and the vocabulary. Therefore the first three Gospels are called Synoptic gospels because they can be viewed side by side. The word Synoptic is derived from the Greek word ‘Synptikos’ which really means ‘seeing with’ in other words ‘ seeing the whole together’. However, I have heard that as high as 90% of the gospel of John is not in the other three. The big question is why? Why would John have written a record of Jesus’ life that is so different from the other three Gospels? What if it was because He had a more intimate relationship with Jesus?
Leader, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved”. (John 13:23) This picture of John laying his head on Jesus, while sitting at the table for the Last Supper, intimacy. John knew Jesus well. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. (1 John 1:1) That intimate knowledge is in this epistle and it is “God is LIGHT, GOD is LOVE and GOD IS LIFE.” The epistle of 1st John can be divided three-fold; Light is mentioned 16 times in the first chapter leading into the next, Love 33 times in 2nd chapter, going into the 3rd ( 44 times total) and God is LIFE- John knew that Jesus is life, and he mentioned it redundantly. In John 10:27–28 Jesus states that: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” This refers to the personal, heart to heart relationship the Christian is expected to have with Jesus. Notice John had a real relationship with Jesus; he heard, he saw, he beheld, he touched- John called Him the WORD (logos) of LIFE! Do you know Jesus like this, or is he some historical figure from the past? Is Jesus like Abraham Lincoln to you? Some famous guy who lived long ago and you now read about? God is calling us all to be like JOHN, to have an intimate relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus the Christ.
Conduit, in order to have that intimate, loving relationship with Jeus we have to REMOVE that which hinders us. Ephesians 4:31, NIV: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The ESV says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Anger or wrath is an intense emotional state. It involves a strong, uncomfortable, and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. We have to choose our FRUIT, and that fruit is dependent on what you are engrafted into? Are you engrafted into the Prince of this world, or are you part of the VINE which then allows you to produce Fruit of the Spirit? You can tell WHOSE you are by your fruit. Fruit of the Spirit or Fruit of the flesh? Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Fruit of the world\Flesh is Hate\Indifference, Despair, Anxiety, Impatience, Rudeness, Evil, Unreliable, Abrasive\Harsh and undisciplined. Are you believing the WORLD and that one group of people are more evil than others? That the color of one’s skin, makes someone worse, or better than another? Is that fruit of the Spirit or fruit of the World? Does the trauma and drama of today make you more like Jesus? Or is the unfairness of life, the hardness of how sin destroys relationships in our hearts, in our families, in our communities and in our churches- is that making you more like earth dwellers? Are you doing the bidding of the world, or are you about your Fathers business, like Jesus? You might want to look at your proximity and intimacy with Jesus if you are marching to the beat of the world. Repent, CONFESS and TAKE A KNEE (Romans 14:11) – not for the world’s causes- but for the LOVE, LIGHT and LIFE of JESUS!