Biblical scholars may disagree on when the Apostle John wrote his three letters, but there is general consensus that John lived to almost the turn of the first century, passing away somewhere between 95 and 98 AD. He lived longer than any of his fellow disciples. His words from his latter years contain not only the quality of being a first-hand account of his time with Jesus, but his wisdom from a long life devoted to following our LORD carry considerable weight.
In his first letter (some would say an “Epistle”) John gives his readers a simple description of one of his goals in writing. That our “joy may be full (1 John 1:4).” But to understand his point, I think it is helpful to look at his opening three verses.
In verse 1, John reminds his readers that he was a first-hand, eye witness of Jesus. He says he saw, heard and touched Jesus, whom he calls the “word of life.” John is delicately reminding us, we may read about Him (Jesus) from various sources, but John was actually there with Jesus. John heard Him first-hand, shared life with Him and was counted as a close friend. John’s credibility to speak into our lives about the eternal nature of Jesus is rock solid.
Then in verse 2, he repeats his eye-witness claim and states how this “eternal life” was made real to all of us. Followed in verse 3 with his claim, all of us may have “fellowship” or a relationship with the eternal God.
Have you ever really contemplated how awesome that concept is? The Creator of the universe, the eternal God, has desired to have a relationship with us! John knows, because he is the authority on knowing Jesus!
Finally we get to verse 4 where John tells why he writing to us. He states he is writing that our “joy may be full.” Joy comes from knowing God, which happens when we know His Son, Jesus.
When one fully understands this concept as being more than just words on a page from an old book, your joy is full or one can say, overflowing.
We pursue things, finances and even sports teams, but often miss out on real joy because we don’t pursue God. Or we look for Him in the wrong way. We find Him and have fellowship with Him through Jesus. Jesus said in the gospel of John 14, verse 6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Do you want joy? The real question is, do you know Jesus? It is only through Him that we can know and experience true joy.
Blessings my friend!