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Lately, in my Bible reading plan, I’ve been going through the book of John. 

Coincidentally the women’s Bible study I’m in is going through the books of 1-3 John!  All of these books were written by John, known throughout the New Testament as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” John lived and walked with Jesus throughout His time on earth, and there is so much we can learn from him!

As I’ve been reading through John’s books, so many similar themes have stood out to me showing how God’s Word is consistent and perfectly put together:

John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1
 

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14

John establishes essential truths from the start about Who Jesus has been and Who He is- the Son of God- and what He came to do. John was an eyewitness who personally spent time with Christ.

So let’s compare this idea to what we read in 1 John:

 

1 John

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us…”
1 John 1:1-3

In both books we see Jesus being called the Word Who has been from the beginning. Jesus was made flesh and manifested to mankind. When I looked up the definition of “manifested,” it says “readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight.” John uses a variety of senses in 1 John to confirm this reality such as “heard”, “seen”, “looked at”, and “touched”.

John makes it plain to us that these things really happened! And he would know…he was there for much of Christ’s ministry! Jesus, Who has always been, came to earth in human form to give us grace, truth, and eternal life.


 

John 8 & 9

“ I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”
John 8:12


“Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, ‘
We are not blind too, are we?’ Jesus said to them,
‘If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but since you say ‘We see’, your sin remains.’”
John 9:40-41

Jesus calls Himself the Light of the world in chapter 8. In chapter 9 we read the story of the man who was blind from birth that Jesus heals. The Pharisees claim that Jesus couldn’t be from God since He healed on the Sabbath. They question the man and his parents repeatedly, refusing to believe what should be plain for them to see- that Jesus is God. The irony here is that the man born blind can now see both physically and spiritually (9: 38 “And he said, “Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped Him.”) but the Pharisees remain spiritually blind. They say they can see but Jesus says their sin remains.

Let’s go to 1 John.

1 John

 “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
1 John 1:5-6

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
1 John 1:8

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is Christ?
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.”
1 John 2:22-23

As we saw above, God is the source of Light.
The Pharisees who claimed to be disciples of Moses (John 9:28) should have seen what was evidenced by the blind man’s healing that Jesus is God. As 1 John points out, they prove by their denial of Jesus that they do not have the Father. They do not see their sin (“We are not blind too, are we?”) and therefore don’t come to the Light. When we deny our sin, we are acting like the Pharisees, claiming to have fellowship with God but still walking in darkness.


John 14 & 15

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper,
that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him,
but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16-17

“Abide in Me, and I in you.”
John 15:4


“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”
John 15:12

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
John 15:19

Here John records the words of Christ given to His disciples. Jesus tells us about the promise of the Holy Spirit and what it means to abide in Him. He also prepares his disciples for what to expect from those who do not follow or love Him.

We find similar themes in 1 John:

1 John

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One…As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. Now, little children, abide in Him…”
1 John 2:20, 27-28

 “And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also”
1 John 4:21

 “For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”
1 John 3:1, 13

1 John again reflects the teachings of Jesus.
John reminds us that we have the Holy Spirit and He will guide us in truth. He also encourages believers to abide in Christ. One way we abide is by obeying His command to love others. John also warns believers that the world will hate them and not know them because the world does not know God. Reading 1 John chapters 3 and 4 give us a deeper scope on what our relationship with the world should look like, and also what it means to truly obey Christ’s command to love others.


Final Thoughts

You’ll find in reading these books that John is compelled to share his witness to these events. He wants his readers to know without a shadow of a doubt that what he is sharing is the truth. As we looked at earlier, he uses the senses as proof that he was a witness to Christ. Why does John seem so adamant about this? First, let’s look to John 19:35:

“And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

The context here is that Jesus just died on the cross of which John was a witness.

Now we look to 1 John 1:3-4:

 “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also,
so that you too may have
fellowship with us;
and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
These things we write, so that our
joy may be made complete.”

John writes these things to us so that we will believe. Jesus came to earth, lived the perfect life we could never live, died the death we deserved, and rose again conquering sin and death forever! By believing in Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, we have fellowship with the Father, with Jesus and other believers and this leads us to joy!

I’m sure there are more similar themes you can find in both books written by John. In fact, I’d encourage you as you read the Word to look for similar themes throughout the whole of Scripture. Keep a log of the themes as you read and this will help you see how “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Love,
Heather

(This post is a part of the Bible-In-A-Year series)