“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
John wants his readers to take special note of something. The word “behold” is a command to focus on the subject at hand. This is a dramatic word conveying an idea similar to someone pulling a cord that unveils a statue in a public meeting. He says in effect, “Take note of the amazing, unadulterated, undying love of God for us.”
Look at the special uses of the word “behold” in Scripture:
Je 23: 5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”
Jn 1: 29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”
1 Co 15: 51 “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
2 Co 5: 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Ju 14 “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Re 1: 7 “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
Re 1: 18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
God wants us to take special note of His unique love for us.
God wants us to take special note of His unconditional love. He wants us to concentrate on the nature of His love. John calls attention to the wonderful exhibition of God’s love for us.
God’s love is self-sacrificing, one-way love that is free to relate to us because of the death of His Son for our sins. That love is unconditional, unadulterated, undiminished, undying, persistent and insistent. We can never ‘out-sin’ His love for us. His love is greater than anything we do or say.