John’s Expectations For The Church – part 2
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 boys (lads), 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 Amplified
Yesterday we looked at John’s expectations for the church. From this, we can see what the Lord’s expectations are for us in the church, and raise our standards to meet His expectation. We see in these verses that John addresses his comments to three distinct groups who will hear this, little children, young men, and Fathers. He also makes two comments to each group in these verses.
Today let’s look at his expectations for fathers as we read from the beginning of verse 13 and the beginning of verse 14. The fathers are different from the young men and the small children because of their level of understanding and spiritual maturity. They have known the Lord for a longer period. They are expected to have come to understand some of the deeper things of the Lord, the One who has been from the beginning! Fathers in the Church are to recognize and be aware of the ways of the Lord in a way that the other two groups John addresses cannot yet. Further, John expects that the fathers will also have an understanding of His ways in this life; something not yet blossomed in the other two groups because of lack of experience in the Lord. Fathers are expected to be examples and agents of mature guidance and direction for the younger ones.
John just accepted the fact that fathers would already be at this level and have experienced victories in Christ, living a life walking in those victories. Is this what we expect from fathers in our churches today? Often we are just glad they show up. Then when they arrive they are often learning along with the other groups and can offer no life experience of serving the Lord and in the ways of the Lord in life. We need to change our expectations so that they match those of John for fathers in the church.
In verse 14 that expectations for fathers in the church are even higher. John continues making his point of expectation to fathers by saying that fathers should both recognize the Father and be conscious of Him. That means that fathers within the church are expected to meditate and think of the things of the Lord. They have an understanding of the things of the Lord and are constantly growing in Him as they spend quiet time just with the Lord. It is what our expectation for fathers in the body of Christ should be.
J Todd Hostetler