But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth but because you do know it, and no lie comes from the truth.
'Know' is one of John's favourite words. It is more than simply knowing something on a surface level; it is a kind of seeing that leads to spiritual understanding. Similar perhaps to the way that we use the word 'see' - not just to physically see something but to really, truly see it, to see it and understand the significance of what it is. I see. The difference between seeing Jesus and seeing him, between coldly observing a historical figure and recognising King Jesus in all his goodness and beauty and glory.
John tells his reader that they know the truth. He isn't writing to them because they don't know it, but because they have forgotten, because they need a reminder, because they are scared and doubting and people in their midst have shaken their faith. This truth is a person. Jesus claimed it as a title for himself, as a way of explaining who he is and what he's like. He is the truth. (John 14:6) John's readers have met the truth, but their view of him has become clouded. They have started to forget what he is really like. They have forgotten that he cannot lie. (Titus 1:2, Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18) That he alone is completely pure and sinless and trustworthy. John's words urge them to remember: remember who you know and what he has given you. Remember what it means that you have been given the Holy Spirit. Remember who gave you such an anointing.
I need such a reminder today. I need to remember the anointing that I received (2 Corinthians 2:21-22. In a world where we are so easily side-swiped, I need to remember who I know and who I belong to.