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 2 comments to each group in these verses.
We saw John’s comments to the little children previously. Today let’s look at his expectations for fathers as read from the beginning of verse 13 and the beginning of verse 14. The fathers are different from the young men and from the small children because of their level of understanding and spiritual maturity. They have known the Lord for a longer period of time. 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 of course be at this level and have these experiences, that fathers already have experienced victories in Christ and would be living a life walking in those victories. Is this what we expect from fathers in our churches today? Often we are just glad if they show up. Then when they arrive they are often learning along with the other groups and can offer no life experience in 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.
We see in verse 14 that expectations for fathers in the church is even higher than that however. Verse 14 continues John making his point of expectation to fathers by saying that fathers should both recognize the Father and are conscious of Him. That means that what is expected of fathers within the church is that they meditate and think of the things of the Lord. They have understanding of the things of the Lord and are constantly growing in Him as they spend quiet time just with the Lord, listening, meditating and hearing from Him. This should be our expectation for fathers in the body of Christ.
J Todd Hostetler