I John 3:1a
"Behold,...." Well the very first word, what does that word "behold" really tell you? Hey, wake up! Pay attention. We've got something important to say.
I John 3:1a
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,...." (as believers) Now again I always have to keep reminding people, these little epistles of James and Peter and John and Jude and on into Revelation are written primarily to what people? The Jews! The Nation of Israel. Now that doesn't mean that we just close it up and say, "Well this isn't for us," because all Scripture is profitable.
Paul's epistles of course are written to us. And that's where we have to find our basic doctrines. But all the rest of Scripture still is applicable in one way or another. So even though John is addressing Jews here, you and I can revel in this just as much, that God has loved us so much:
I John 3:1b
"...that we should be called the sons (or the children) of God:...." Now you see Paul uses that same language. Paul says that "we're the children of God." That doesn't make it all in the same kettle, not by any means, they are still on two different platforms -- but, nevertheless, under the same God, and the Word of God is profitable.
I John 3:1c
"...therefore the world (around us) knoweth us not, because it knew him not." Now I'm sure that every one of you, if you really live and walk and practice your Christian life, once in a while will run up against somebody that thinks you're a little bit odd. They think you're out of it. There's something wrong with you! Well, don't be disheartened; it's always been that way from day one. In fact I'll probably go back to it sometime along in here, but just as soon as Abel was accepted of the Lord, how did Cain immediately begin to feel about him? Well, he hated him. Why? Because he was a righteous man and Cain wasn't. That's basically what it was. Well, it's the same way here. And you ought to see the letters we get about how when people in the Sunday School class realize that folks like you now have an understanding of Scripture that the quarterly hasn't even come close to -- they look down the row at them as though they've lost it, like they're out of their cage. But that's the way it's always been, and I'm sure many of you have experienced that.
And the Lord Himself was detested by the religious leaders of the Nation, because it just rankled them. All right, so the world doesn't know who we really are, they don't understand us, but they didn't understand the Lord either. And they "knew him not." Now verse 2.