1 John 2:29–3:6
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
Psalm 98:1, 3CD-6
O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
The disciple John tells us that Jesus was revealed to take away sins; thus it is most appropriate that He began His public ministry as an adult by revealing Himself as the Lamb of God to John the Baptist, the one whose life work was to preach repentance and salvation from sin “that he might be revealed to Israel”. Yet John the Baptist, ever the humble servant, assures us, twice, that “I myself did not know him”. He needed the assistance of the Holy Spirit to know the Son. And having received this revelation, John knows the importance of his own testimony to give others the help they need for Jesus to be revealed to them. And John the disciple explains that, in order to make Him known and to remain in Him, we must abide in the knowledge of the Father’s love that makes us God’s children, and in the hope we have in Jesus, which purifies us and frees us from sin.
Where am I today, in my knowledge of Jesus? Am I waiting for Him to be revealed to me? Am I making Him known? Am I seeking to abide in the love of God, and so separate myself from sin? As we move in the Christmas season from contemplating Jesus’s incarnation to contemplating His ministry and proclamation of the gospel, let’s pray for a deeper understanding of His salvation and love, and the words and opportunities to testify.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of Your love; help me to understand and be transformed by it. Jesus, thank you for coming to free me from sin; help me to abide in You and hope in You. Holy Spirit, thank you for revealing the Son and the Father’s love to the world; reveal again this love to me, and testify through me to the world.