12 I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
14 I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

Poems are powerful communicators. Imagination and emotion are stirred up and expressed by a poem’s use of rhyme and rhythm. Poetry calls for the reader to pay close attention to the meaning in fewer words than prose. Here in 1 John 2, the Apostle John’s passion about Jesus is penned. He uses repetition for emphasis. John desires us not only to know, but feel, the reasons he has written his letters. He wants us not only to experience fellowship, but to grow in it, and not only in our relationship with Jesus but with others. For me, studying the books and letters written by John is getting to know an amazing Christian brother and his closest personal friend.

As I look back over my life, growing up in a Christian home, attending a Christian college, pursing a ministry major and serving, I recognize knowing Christ for a long time from childhood to adulthood and through many seasons. There is so much I’ve learned with so much more to learn, and I’ve grown so much but have so much more to grow. John the Apostle was an old man writing this letter, having a close relationship with Christ and being with Christ since he was a young man. He knew about loving one another from the Jewish Torah and tradition. Now he experienced and knew about loving one another from the God-man Jesus who had been from the beginning.  John knew his sins were forgiven, he knew the word of God abided in him, and knew God was his Father. I’ve grown in knowing these things too.

John is encouraging us with loving affirmation that whatever stage of maturity we’re in, we have grown and are continuing to grow in our relationship with the Father God and his Son Jesus Christ. This relationship begins now but continues for eternity. We can begin this relationship by believing in our heart that Jesus rose from the dead and confessing with our mouth that Jesus died to forgive our sins. As John writes in his gospel, grace and truth came to live among us, the Word that was from the beginning, and was with God. And whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. We have joined an incredible family community with both the Father and his Son. John wants us all to know intimately and experientially the love and joy in this partnership. Then John identifies how important it is for all who have begun communion with the Father through His Son to have the word of God living in them for strength to overcome the evil one.   The common ingredient for our growth is our personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Our community strengthens us even more, and we have others to help us in spiritual battle. Together we want to get so close to him there is no big change on that day when he calls our name.   John keeps us looking ahead to greater maturity and increased intimacy of relationship with the Father, through His Son Jesus, because of love.  In Jesus’ love we are forgiven, we grow, we abide.   In Jesus’ love we overcome. In his love we have victory, because this has been his plan from the beginning.   You and I can praise God together for his love. Let’s listen to this song, (songs are poems!) Love is Strong by Jon Foreman.

1 John 5:4: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

By Donna Burns  

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.