I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
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, dear children, because you know the Father.
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 lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
I have been puzzling over these verses for a few days. The dilemma of thinking too hard and trying to be theologically clever when perhaps the meaning is obvious.
John writes to his people to tell them what they need to know. This is a Shepherd who knows his flock. He knows what they will struggle to remember, when they need extra assurance, where they are liable to stop trusting and start doubting.
This is not complicated new revelation; this is much needed reminder: remember who you are and who you know. You are the forgiven, the strong, the tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, the overcomers. And you know him. Him. The creator king of the universe. The one who is from the beginning. The only heavenly Father from whom every father on earth gets his name. You know him. Intimately. As a friend. As a parent. As the one who enables you to overcome any and every difficulty.
And so, this morning, I am taking John's simple words seriously : remember who you know. It matters.