1 John 1:1–4 (ESV) 1 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— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us. 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Pastor Chris leads in the first of a new series of messages from the book of 1 John. It’s a message that centers on how we can grow in meaningful relationship with Jesus. Knowing Jesus in Trying Times moves us from knowing about Jesus, or knowing of Him, to knowing Him – as we might know a friend, or brother, or sister, or parent, or even our spouse.
Knowledge is like the first layer in a relationship just beyond acquaintance. As the relationship grows, so does understanding of each person. Sharing our dreams and desires, likes and dislikes, serve to connect us closer to this person we enjoy being around. Activities, conversation, laughter, history, and even hurts help us deepen the relationship. Knowing grows into understanding, which opens into confiding, which builds trust, which deepens to love.
John, in his gospel, describes himself as, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This impulsive fisherman whom Jesus called to be a fisher-of-men, defined his relationship with the deepest of connection, loved by the Lord. A bond that had grown so strong in just three years, that at the moment of His death on the cross, Jesus placed His mother Mary in John’s care.
25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother …26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. John 19:25–27
Now, that is knowing Jesus through a trying time! He loves you and wants you to know Him deeply.
Believers who Find Meaning in their Relationship with Jesus Hold Fast to these 3 Key Truths:
- Knowing Jesus is Beyond Knowledge (vv. 1-2) – “word of life…which was with the Father…was made manifest to us.”
- Knowing Jesus Comes through Fellowship (v. 3) – “so that you too may have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” See also, John 15:4.
- Knowing Jesus Produces Joy (v. 4) – “…so that our joy may be complete.” See also, John 3:29, John 15:8–11, John 16:24, Psalm 16:11
Simple letters to live a full life: J. O. Y. – J = Jesus, O = Others, Y = You
- How is knowing about someone different than knowing them?
- What might be missing for someone who focuses on just knowledge of Jesus, instead of knowing Him?
- What do you suppose John meant that knowing Jesus is to have “fellowship with the Father and His Son?”
- Why do you think our joy can only be full or complete by knowing Jesus, or abiding with Him?
- When you think about how you spend your time knowing Jesus, in what ways could you grow deeper in your relationship?
- Pick a way to know Him more this week, then see if you sense more trust, fuller joy, and meaningful fellowship.