Lectionary Year B
May 28, 2000
1 John 5:1-6
Step V: Distillation/Hermeneutical Bridge


The theological center of gravity in this pericope has got to be God's bearing Jesus, believed by God's children to be the Christ. That belief, furthermore, brings victory over the world (of evil). Obeying God's commandments and loving God and being children of God all come in a close second to the major concerns of this passage. Then, the person of Jesus, who came by water and blood and the Spirit whose truth telling confirms the message as presented here occupy a place above minor concerns, to be sure.


1 All who believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, having been born of God, and all who love the One born (of God) love also Him (His Father/God). 2 In this way we know that we love God's children, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For God's love we might explain thusly, that we obey His commandments, and (now, get this) His commandments are not burdensome (to obey). 4 All who are born of God overcome the world; and here is the victory which overcomes the world, it is our faith. 5 And what is the one thing prevailing over the world, is it not the faith that Jesus is God's Son? 6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water only but both in the water and also in the blood; and the Spirit is the One witnessing (to these tenants), and the Spirit is truth.


Recently (5/2/00) NPR's "Morning Edition" reported on a survey of more than 90,000 students in the seventh through the twelfth grades. It sought to determine "factors that increased teenagers' health and well-being. What they found was that students that had a strong relationship with their parents are significantly less likely to suffer emotional problems, attempt suicide or commit violence than those who don't have such bonds". These teens, with much appreciation, described "warmth, love and caring" they experienced with their parents. They valued time spent with their parents. Consistency in time together mattered more than any quantitative amount of such time. Meal times matter to teenagers, surprisingly to some skeptics. Some of the researchers found that "there is something specifically nurturing and important about breaking bread together". These factors resemble what God offers believers in Jesus Christ in 1 John.

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