“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.” (1 John 1:1, NIV)
Have you ever heard something was true but struggled to believe it? It could be a fact of nature, such as: the lightning we see in the sky is actually traveling from the ground to the clouds. Or, it could be something more personal. Perhaps your wife got pregnant while all of the doctors said it could never happen. Maybe a family member overcame a zero percent chance of remission from cancer. How about getting that job that no one, including yourself, thought you were qualified for?
Sometimes we cannot fathom what people say. We have to see it to believe it. We want to hear from a witness. Someone who has seen and heard and touched the truth. We want to understand the truth from someone ‘credible.’ We want to know what we are hearing is credible. We want to have all the evidence.
This was true for the early Christians in and around Ephesus concerning Jesus. They needed to hear from a witness. Someone who actually saw what happened. Some struggled to believe Jesus really was God, or that He truly rose from the dead. But there was a witness. Actually, there were many witnesses.
This is the message of 1 John 1:1. John, a cousin and disciple of Jesus, talked with Jesus and spent significant time with Him. In fact, he devoted three years of his life to walking around with Jesus. From the day he began to follow Jesus, John knew—without a hint of doubt—that Jesus was different. John knew Jesus was special. John came to know Jesus as God, manifested in human form. That’s why he says, “That which was from the beginning…”
Jesus was in the beginning.
He is God, and He created the universe. The Bible says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth…all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16, NIV)
John continues to explain that this same Jesus who was in the beginning was also the one that John spent a significant part of his life with. He writes, “…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched…”
Jesus is that guy! Jesus is God, but He is also the One John followed around for several years. And John is saying, “I know this guy! I spent time with Him. I listened to Him. I observed how He lived. I watched the miracles. I witnessed how He died and rose to life on the third day. I’ve touched His hands. This guy is the real deal!”
You see, John is a witness. John recognized who Jesus was and who Jesus still is today. And John saw the truth so clearly that he became overwhelmed by it. It moved him; it provoked him to action. Therefore, after Jesus ascended to Heaven, John spent the remainder of his earthly life writing and telling others about Jesus. He couldn’t help but spread the message of what he had seen and heard. He just had to tell everybody about Jesus.
What about you?
Have you been so transformed by the reality of Jesus and His work in your life that you can do nothing else but proclaim Christ?
He was real to John. John saw, heard, and touched Jesus. John recognized Him as God, and he worshiped Jesus.
Is Jesus real and alive in your life? Have you encountered Him?
If not, open the Bible, read, and listen carefully. Expect to experience Christ.
And then, be ready. Because He will change you…forever. You will never be the same. You will be overwhelmed by the truth and work of Jesus. You will find yourself in that place where all you can do is proclaim Christ.
Jesus is real, and His message is true. Will you believe?