We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. —1 John 5:20
I’m so thankful that the New Testament contains letters from the early church. Realistically, the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) would have been enough. Actually, based on how well the Christian movement grew in the time right after the resurrection we know that even one gospel would have been enough! What I appreciate about the letters in the New Testament is that they build on the good news of Jesus by providing encouragement to followers of Jesus as they live out their faith. The early Christian letters regularly encourage followers to persist in their belief and trust in what God has done through Jesus. 1 John 5:20 is the perfect example of this.
John uses the word “true” three different times when talking about Jesus:
The truth of Jesus is that he shows us God’s true character.
The truth of Jesus is that he is the Word made flesh.
That truth of Jesus is that he has defeated sin and death.
John knew Jesus personally. John saw the resurrected Jesus! John wants us to know that anything we believe about Jesus that is contrary to the truth he outlined is a lie that comes from the enemy. To believe the enemy’s lies will not only rob us of eternal life, but of life right here and right now. Satan knows the truth of Jesus and knows how the story ends. John wants to make sure we know it too.
So today, may each of us find encouragement from John, offer encouragement to fellow believers, and trust in the truth of Jesus.