May 22, 2015
1 John 5:21
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Wow! What a surprise ending. It’s unforgettable. John didn’t give any farewells or good wishes or thanks for reading or let me summarize my three points or a nice tear jerking antidote or anything of the sort.
He just stopped. John hasn’t so much as whispered the word “idol” in anything he’s written; not the Gospel or 2 or 3 John. It’s unprecedented for him.
Truth be told, I can only remember the way one other book in the New Testament ends. That would be the Gospel of Matthew.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
Keep yourselves from idols. So what’s an idol? It’s a substitute god. It’s whatever promises to make your life work in exchange for your pursuit of it. Money comes to mind. It’s why Jesus said so much about it; like for instance, you can’t serve God and money.
Honestly, I kind of want to wrap 1 John all up and tie a bow around it. If I’m true to John, I can’t do it.
If you want people to remember the last thing you say, don’t say something predictable. Don’t even try to say something memorable. Just make your point and stop talking.
So how about this for an ending: Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Or how about I end by telling you the only possible way to actually keep yourselves from idols.
Entrust your life completely, constantly, and unreservedly to Jesus.
J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.