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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“We repeat, we really saw and heard what we are now writing to you about. We want you to be with us in this—in this fellowship with the Father, and Jesus Christ his Son. We must write and tell you about it, because the more that fellowship extends the greater the joy it brings to us who are already in it."—1 John 1:3–4 (PHILLIPS)
Something you should know about me: I love discovering amazing restaurants, telling people about them, and then taking them there! To me, it’s like getting someone the perfect gift and seeing the joy on their face as they unwrap it.
Just recently, we took my brother-in-law to this burger place and he literally said, “This is the best burger I have ever had!” I was really happy to be able to share in that experience with him, and to know that I had a part in him enjoying something so much.
In the first few verses of 1 John, the apostle is basically giving the reader his reasoning for writing this letter. You see, John was defending the deity and humanity of Christ from a heresy that had arisen called Docetism—a belief that denied the incarnation of Jesus. The claim was that Christ didn’t have a physical body; instead, His body was an illusion, and so was His crucifixion.
So, in these first two verses, John was affirming his own credibility and authority in this matter as an eyewitness, claiming to have heard, seen, and touched Jesus, the Word of Life. And in today’s passage, the apostle is telling why he was so passionate about his readers knowing the truth he was presently defending: “We want you to be with us in this—in this fellowship,” because as the NLT says, “We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.”
Similar to how I love sharing a delicious meal with people and seeing their faces light up, John is telling us that his joy in life is made complete by you and I being in Christ, being children of God (1 John 2:12–14), walking in the light (1 John 1:5–7), and sharing in fellowship with God (1 John 1:3) and one another (1 John 1:7). This is why he wrote this letter, this is why he suffered in exile, this is why he left everything behind to become an apostle . . . so we could experience the same relationship with Jesus that he did!
Friends, I pray that as those who have been given the right and privilege to be called children of God (John 1:12), that we would have the same heart as John, that our joy would be made complete by seeing people experience this beautiful, life-changing, life-giving relationship with Jesus . . . that it would fill us way more than sharing food or gifts or fun with others, and that it would be a true guiding force in all our relationships and interactions.
DIG: What experience do you love sharing with people?
DISCOVER: Sometimes, helping people experience the joy of Christ often means having to sift through the lies, misrepresentations, and false assumptions people have regarding Him and what it means to know Him. Sometimes it involves clearing away all the deceptions to help people see the truth clearly, as John was doing in this letter. How have you seen this to be true?
DO: Share the amazing truth about Jesus with someone today. Share over a meal or coffee or going on a walk with someone.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.