18 January 20201 John 2:22-28
As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him. (v. 27)
Psalm: Psalm 119:81-96
Abiding in Jesus takes us back to John 15 and the memory of Jesus commanding his disciples to abide or remain in him and to be his friends. Remaining is an important part of John’s message in his Gospel and also here at the close of Chapter 2. Remaining close to Jesus is the place where we choose to live – abiding, living, thriving within the kingdom that is open to all through the person of Jesus. This section is one that is strongly trinitarian in its teaching: it reminds us of the absolute relationship of the Son with the Father. It is not possible to deny Jesus’ divinity and to claim a knowledge of God. John describes the ones who deny Jesus’ divinity as ‘anti-Christ’. The truth begins to fall apart where Jesus is not at the centre. We can think of this as living out a Jesus-centric life. With Jesus as the central point from which all our decisions, actions and philosophies derive. He is in the middle of it all. It is Jesus centred or pro-Christ and shows the life of the truth that is at work within the people of God. Abiding in Jesus has consequences. The consequences are a holy life that exudes Godliness. John shows us here that a knowledge of God that is based entirely on theories will be insufficient, and will eventually lead to a Christ-less existence which can only ever be partial. In Jesus is the anointing of God, the revelation of his Son through whom eternal life is found.
Abide. Remain. These are powerful words, especially in today’s culture, which is fragmented and is piece-meal. Remaining is a word full of heaviness, maybe even suggesting a ponderous intransigence in one’s approach to life. However, as Jesus describe it in John 15, it is the source from which mission and evangelism, proclamation and social action flow. The well-spring of fuel for faith is to be planted in Jesus so that the fruit of our thinking and acting and planning and loving is sourced from his own rootedness in Father God. Instead of being words of heaviness, remaining, abiding in Jesus give lightness and joy to our faith that is not weighted by well-meaning theories but is full with hope and the light of eternity. Stepping into a relationship with Jesus, according to John, will teach the believer the way to live a life of truth that is expectant and hopeful as the light of God shines through the believer into the world. Abide. Remain. Words of acceleration in the mission of the kingdom of God.
- If you imagine your life as a wheel that turns on the hub of Jesus, how balanced is that wheel? Can you think of a shift of focus that would weight your life to run more smoothly with Jesus as the centre?
- John persists in calling the Christians to whom he writes "little Children". As we see this in terms of parental intimacy we can consider John’s concern. Is your faith vulnerable and easily preyed upon? Are you open to being teachable like a child?