1Jn 3:1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
The word translated here as “behold” means to see and implies to know. We are being called to look upon something with understanding. In this instance, we are not being instructed to look upon (or consider) the love of the Father. Instead, we are being instructed to consider a specific aspect of that love; an aspect that I believe is peculiar to God’s children who are actively engaged in His kingdom here.
It is important to note that just as the Father’s love is a gift, so is this particular aspect of that love a gift. It has been bestowed upon us (given to us) by His grace. This particular aspect of His love is that we should be called the sons of God. The word translated as “called” carries with it the thought of being called by the surname.
My mortal surname is McGrady. It signifies that my father is a McGrady and points to my lineage. Those of God’s children who have been set apart to minister (I’m not just talking about preachers) before Him in His kingdom here are blessed to have His love manifested in their lives. He shows His love to them and causes others to see it as well. It is a very special aspect of His love that causes men to see His light in us but gives Him the glory (Mat 5:16). He has manifested to us and in us our family name and points to our lineage in Jesus.
Because of this manifestation of His love, the world (or more specifically, those that love the things of the world) does not know us. The world does not know us for the same reason that the world does not know Him. In studying His word, I have discovered that there is a root to the words “know” and “not” that is considered to be qualitative and a root that is considered absolute. In this verse, knoweth, knew, and not are of the absolute variety.
Keeping with the instruction that John has given us to this point, I would consider those who have a spirit of antichrist to be in the world that he is speaking about here. Since he has also told us that these went out from us (1Jn 2:19), we must consider that on some limited level they have a limited knowledge of who Jesus is. However, they absolutely do not have an absolute (or sure) knowledge of what He is doing or what His love is truly about. In like manner, they do not understand our devotion to Him and the good of His people.
May we be blessed to consider how amazing it is that, while we live here in these mortal bodies, He has manifested our family name and assured us of our lineage and our inheritance both here and hereafter!