1 John 1:1-2
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
The apostle John makes a radical claim: God has broken into human history in the person and work of Jesus Christ and offers new life to every person. John makes it clear that he was an eyewitness of Jesus. John’s message is not hearsay or conjecture; he personally experienced the word of life to which he bears witness. He is giving eyewitness testimony.
John says four things about his experience with Jesus: (1) We heard him with our ears. (2) We saw him with our eyes. (3) We touched him with our hands. (4) Therefore, we testify and declare the “eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.”
This is profoundly important for several reasons:
- The Creator, the God of the universe, can be known. He has revealed himself to us. God exists, and He is not silent.
- The eternal, infinite God became a man and walked this earth in the person of Jesus. This is the incarnation, God in human form. God is eternal and infinite, but He is also personal. The Lord as the infinite-personal God makes the Christian faith unique among the religions of the world.
- The incarnation debunks the false teaching of Docetism that was creeping into the church during the First Century. It also debunks modern skeptics who attempt to dismiss Jesus as a myth. Docetism denied Jesus’ humanity, claiming that the body of Jesus was illusory and only “seemed” to be physically real. In response to this false teaching, John says, “I heard him! I saw him! I touched him!”
- Jesus restores the life that was lost at the Fall. God created the world and gave man life. However, In Genesis 3 man rebelled against God’s rule and life was lost. Man moved from a condition of life to a condition of death. Christianity is the good news that Jesus, God in human form, has redeemed mankind from their condition of death and has restored the life that was lost by Adam and Eve’s rebellion.
John declared the same message in his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1.1,14)
The great message is that Jesus brings life. The great question is: How will you respond?