John’s Expectations for the Church Part 1
12 I am writing to you, little children, because for His name’s sake your sins are forgiven [pardoned through His name and on account of confessing His name]. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be conscious of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the Word of God is [always] abiding in you (in your hearts), and you have been victorious over the wicked one. 1 John 2:12-14 Amp
These are three very fascinating verses. John is expressing his expectation for the church. We can read these and know that is what the Lord expects from us as His church Body. Notice that John addresses his remarks to three different groups within the church. John addresses specific points to each group twice in these verses. He makes two comments to children, two comments to young men and two comments to fathers.
Let’s look today at what John says to the little children of the church. John has expectations for the little children and this does actually mean little children. The Greek word used is “Teknion”, which means quite literally little children. John had expectations for small children in church, do we?
Here are the two points John addresses to the children. In verse 12 he says the things he is teaching are theirs because they have been saved through the accepting and confessing in the name of Jesus. They have become converts and followers of Jesus.
The second thing, in verse 13, is that they have known and begun to recognize the Father and the things of the Lord, the ways of the Lord. They are aware of Him and know Him. They are developing a relationship with Him!
This is amazing to me. John is writing this letter to be read aloud to all ages. And John has certain expectations for all who hear his words, even the little children. John just expects the little children hearing this to already have come to know Jesus personally as Savior. He further expects the little children to have begun to develop a relationship with Jesus, a relationship that would continue through their lifetime.
Perhaps we should raise our level of expectation for the little ones in our lives and in our churches. Expect that the power of the Word will not return void but will do its work powerfully and in a life changing manner even in little children. How much better would the lives our children be if they indeed accepted Jesus as Savior as little ones and began that relationship early?
J Todd Hostetler