EPISTLES OF JOHN
We are told very little about John, either in the Gospels or in Acts and the Epistles. Peter, Paul and James, the Lord's brother, stand out prominently, but not John.
And yet there is something very special about John. He was the disciple Jesus loved.
Truly Jesus loved them all, but John particularly. This tells us volumes about John. There was a very special and unique relationship between John and Jesus, and it must have been because of John's special character. It was not favoritism. We can rule that out as unthinkable.
The depth and closeness of love depends upon mental and spiritual affinity. The depth and fullness of love is limited only by the comprehensions and capacities of the participants. John was especially beloved because of a deeper unity with the mind of Christ.
It is notable, and there is a certain amount of comfort for us in the fact, that on two occasions where John is prominent in the Gospels, it is not in a good light. He, with James, wanted to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritans, and he, with James, wanted the two places of highest preeminence in Christ's Kingdom. He had to learn the way of wisdom--the true nature of the spirit he was called unto.
Both times Jesus had to gently rebuke them. When he had first selected James and John, he called them Boanerges-"Sons of Thunder"-doubtless for the ardent power of their dedication and zeal. By Jesus' love, John's thunder was purified.
John was the first to believe, after the resurrection when he saw the empty tomb. Though not prominent in the history, John wrote the deepest Gospel, the deepest Epistle (this one) and the deepest prophecy (Revelation).
Though deep, and spiritual, and laying all emphasis on love as the essential motive and power of holiness, this epistle is eminently practical and plain-spoken. There is no haziness, such as the mind of the flesh delights and takes refuge in. What could be plainer or blunter than this?-
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commands is a liar."
"Be not deceived: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous."
"He that committeth sin is of the devil."
The first five verses lay the eternal foundations in words we could meditate on forever without fully plumbing their depth, but the next five turn upon us and are plain, uncompromising and unsparing. They speak of sin, and liars, and self-deception.
Bro Growcott - Fellowship with Him