"And we know 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. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:20-21)Jesus came for many reasons. One of them being to enlighten our minds and, most specifically, here in the Greek, our intellect, that we might know God. It's not that we did not know God before, for the reality of His existence was evident all around us. It's not that His word was unknown to us before, for it had been written and passed down for centuries and millenniums previous. It was that the truth of Him and the understanding of His word was hidden until a time of revealing. A time which had come to maturity with the coming of Christ.
To Isaiah God said, "The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, 'Please read this,' he will say, 'I cannot, for it is sealed.'" (Isaiah 29:11) To Daniel He said,, "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time." (Daniel 12:9) And when Jesus taught He said, "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." (Matthew 13:13) However, after His resurrection, all things changed and He set out to enlighten our hearts and to give us an understanding that we might know and understand both Him and His truth, On the road to Emmaus Jesus talked with two of His disciples. "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." (Luke 24:27) Then later with the rest of His disciples, it is written that, "He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45) Later, when John was receiving his revelation in heaven, he was weeping for none was found worthy to break open the seals and reveal what was written until, "one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.'" (Revelation 5:5)
Jesus came to open our minds and our intellects that we might know and understand God. Not only that we might know who God is but that we might also understand who we are in Him and who we are to Him. When we believe in Jesus, we are in Jesus and, when we are in Jesus, we are in God and, when we are in God, we are in Him who is true. We all want to give our lives to something that is true. If we understand that life is short and that we have so precious little time on this Earth, shouldn't we seek to give our lives to something that matters? What a horrible state for someone to live their life for something that is false or of no consequence; to waste their life on what does not matter at all. Worse than that, to find that in squandering this life we have actually forfeited the life to come. We have lived for the temporary at the expense of the eternal. All that is true and all that is eternal is found in God. To live our lives for what matters and for what lasts forever is to live our live in Christ, for He is the truth and he is eternal life.
John ends his letter with a simple command, "guard yourselves from idols." This command seems almost out of place or placed there as an after thought. However, if we understand that we are in the one who is truth and who is eternal life, why would we resort to idols? Paul, saw in many cases, the reality of people turning form idols. Speaking of those who witnessed the conversion of the Thessalonians, he wrote, "For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10) Seeing what a glorious salvation we have received, and having received knowledge and understanding from God, what more use do we have for idols? God is enough! Keep yourselves from idols!