1 John 3:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 3:1, NIV: "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."

1 John 3:1, ESV: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him."

1 John 3:1, KJV: "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."

1 John 3:1, NASB: "See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him."

1 John 3:1, NLT: "See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him."

1 John 3:1, CSB: "See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God's children--and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn't know him."

What does 1 John 3:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verses 1 through 3 focus on God's love, and how His love results in believers becoming children of God. Becoming a child of God is seen as a great sign of love from God the Father. John specifically mentions that believers are not only "called children of God;" believers truly are God's children. This theme closely connects with the words of John 1:12: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." God's children are those who both receive Jesus as Lord and believe in His name as the risen Messiah.

John highlights this concept using the Greek term ideate, meaning, "look at this!" The idea that God would love us enough to make us His children is just one of the amazing aspects of the gospel.

John then notes why unbelievers do not "know" believers: Unbelievers do not know Christ. As used by John, the concept of "knowing" involves more than just information. It refers to a sense of intimacy, fellowship, and connection. The unbelieving world does not have a relationship with Christ. Therefore, they have no relationship with His children. God's children are to become increasingly like the Father, regardless of whether others recognize us.