Wishing you a joyful Children’s Day!
My little children, I will be with you only a little longer.
You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now:
Where I am going, you cannot come.
A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
The Greek word “teknia” (in John 13:33) is translated as “children,” “dear children,” and “little children”. It is a figurative term used by Jesus to address His disciples with affection.
Just as little children do not understand many things, there are many spiritual things that even adult disciples of Jesus do not understand. John chapters 13 and 14 tell us how much our Lord Jesus Christ loves us. He will return to His Father by dying for us and be raised to life. And He will ascend to His Father and impart the Holy Spirit to us. Finally He will return soon and bring us to Himself.
Have your little children ever ask to accompany you for work or to events that only adults can go? They are puzzled as to why they cannot come along. Often parents give instructions to their little ones, “love one another,” “do not quarrel,” “do not allow strangers into the house,” and “don’t worry, we will come back soon.”
In the First Epistle of John, the writer John instructed and reminded “little children” (teknia):
- Not to sin as a way of life. But if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, who speaks to the Father in our defense (1John 2:1).
- That our sins have been forgiven in Jesus’ Name (1John 2:12).
- To abide in Jesus, so that when He appears, we may receive Him with open arms, without feeling embarrassed or giving lame excuses (1 John 2:28).
- Not to be diverted from the truth or stray away from the sincere devotion to Jesus Christ. One who is righteous does what is right. We see this in Jesus’s righteous life (1John 3:7 cf 2 Cor 11:3).
- Not to merely talk about love, but to live out a life of love with actions and in truth (1John 3:18).
- That we are from God and have overcome the false teachers. Moreover we are protected by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. He is greater than the evil one who is in the world (1John 4:4).
- To keep ourselves from anything or person that takes away our devotion to Jesus Christ, our true God and eternal life (1John 5:21).
The writer John was a mature disciple who was loved by God and loved God. He wrote the epistle so that our joy may be full. We ought to read these reminders and humbly receive them as from our Loving Heavenly Father. In God’s eyes, all adults, young people and young children are His beloved “little children.”
Let us look forward eagerly to the return of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo