Scripture: 1 John 1:1, ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.’
Observations: John has a habit of just launching into his letters without any introduction. In fact, the beginning of this letter is very similar to the beginning of John’s gospel, there’s no doubt that they are written by the same person, the Apostle John, Jesus’ beloved disciple. Firstly, John makes the point that Jesus ‘was from the beginning.’ It’s almost the same way he started his Gospel, ‘in the beginning. (Jn 1:1)’ John is either referring to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (which John was there to witness), or to the fact that Jesus was from the beginning of time (which is his point in his gospel, that Jesus is divine). Secondly, John refers to Jesus as ‘the Word of life.’ Again this is how John refers to Jesus in his Gospel, ‘the Word (Jn 1:1)’ As ‘the Word’ Jesus reveals God’s will and character to the world. Specifically Jesus reveals hw we can be saved form our sin, how we can receive eternal life. Thirdly, John makes a point that what he is saying about Jesus isn’t a second hand account but comes directly from an eye-witness. He makes that point using four phrases: he had ‘heard’ Jesus; he had ‘seen’ Jesus; he had ‘looked at’ him; and he had ‘touched’ him (John uses the plural ‘we’ probably because he’s speaking on behalf of the disciples). The point is that not only was Jesus a real person, but that he had a first-hand intimate relationship with him.
Application: Firstly, do you believe that Jesus was from the beginning, that he is God? Secondly, do you believe that Jesus is the Word of life, that his message to the world is that through faith in his death and resurrection we receive life? Thirdly, do you have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus? You may not be able to physically hear, see, or touch Jesus like John did, but we can still have a spiritual relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We can see him with the eyes of faith, we can touch him through the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and we can hear him speak to us through his word, the Bible.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that through faith, and through Your Holy Spirit that I can have a personal relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, even though Jesus returned to You 2000 years ago, he still lives in me through the Spirit. Lord, help me to listen to His voice as it speaks through Your Word and as He speaks into my heart. Lord, help me see Jesus as work in my life and in the world around me. Lord, unite me to Him, that I might become less and He becomes more, that his perfect obedience becomes my obedience, that his life might become my life. In His name I pray. Amen.