Lectionary Year B
May 28, 2000
1 John 5:1-6

Step II: Disposition


Again, as seems customary with this document, we have so many different subjects addressed, that it appears to be some kind of condensation of a fuller and more extensive record. This time, however, in contrast to previous passages, we get a sense that these subjects more readily relate to one another. Possibly, are we gaining some familiarity with Johannine epistolary style of literature? Maybe these verses are a tract, abbreviated for elementary discussion that might prompt seeking and finding and studying more detailed essays/treatises/statements on these/this topic/s.


The pericope begins identifying those who believe that Christ is God's Son and it names them as God's Children. Then with only a comma, at most, it moves into claiming that those who love God love God's child(ren). Then, as if anyone would question it, it tells that we can know children-lovers by their loving God and obeying Divine commandments. Next, it sort of addresses the subject of God's love by stating that it involves obeying the commandments, which it calls, "not burdensome". Then, the passage rather abruptly changes the subject, or, does it expand the subject here? It addresses "defeating the world", an obvious allusion to "evil". Thereafter, it professes that "faith" is the element that enables the defeating. It concludes by referring to Jesus and the Spirit who confirms these assertions and is (worthy of believing, since the Spirit is) "the truth". So, the begotten by God overcome the world and faith overcomes the world, therefore, begotten-ness = faith? I think that logic is too simple. Then, does the text flow from faith's moving to love which goes to obedience which allows resolving, at least, conflict in/with the world and faith lets us approach victory over that world? We might be getting closer to it, but still these logical equations might just be too neat for Scripture's mysteries. We'll see.

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