Earlier this week, in my devotional time, I started to read 1 John. Like you, I’ve read it many times, but this time, I couldn’t get past the prologue — the first four verses. Listen to what John has to say:
“What was from the beginning, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life —that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us —what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:1-4 (HCSB)
These words just jumped off the page to me. It was as though John was sitting across the table from me, talking directly to me. He was speaking to me, and he is speaking to you, across the centuries, and more than simply John speaking to us, the Lord Himself is speaking through John to us. Let’s try for a minute to reword what John was saying, so that maybe you’ll get the same sense of the passage that I did that morning ….
We who were with Jesus are writing to you, because we have something incredible to share with you. Sharing it makes us so happy, and we know you will join us in that joy as you come to know the truth of what we say.
We saw Jesus. We observed Him. We spent time with Him. We touched Him with our hands. He talked to us, showed His power before our eyes, revealing Himself to us. He did it a little here and a little there; every day He showed us more and more of who He was and is. One day, He healed the sick. Another, He cast out demons. Another, He calmed the stormy seas and even walked on water. He loved the unlovable, and He taught us to do the same. He was welcomed into this world by a joyful welcome by the elderly, and He used the sack lunch of a little boy to feed thousands. He answered challenges without raising His voice, and even when He was angry, He was holy. He could speak to the masses, but He was sensitive to the plea of one single woman among the crowd. When they came to arrest Him, we all fled, but He healed one of those who came for Him. He showed His greatness by giving Himself up for the rest of us. He died before our eyes, but then He rose, and He showed Himself to us again. We even watched Him ascend to heaven.
We saw all of these things. We heard all of these things.
This is why I’m writing to you. We have fellowship with Him. We had it when He was here, and now, we still have it. I write to you so that you can have fellowship, across the centuries, with us. I write so that you can join us in having fellowship with Him.
As I read the opening words of this great little book, I found great comfort in realizing it was written to me. Do you realize that, too? He was writing to you. Do you realize that when you read, “what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, ______________, so that you, ________________ may have fellowship along with us;” that you can put your name in those blanks?
Take 1 John 5:13 as an example. It says, “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (HCSB) Do you realize that the words written throughout that book are meant to be personal for you and me? If you have doubts about your faith, go back to the passages leading to that verse. They were written to help me and you have confidence in our salvation and also to show us how that salvation should be changing us as we live this life.
Sorry to be so long, but that opening passage was very meaningful to me and has had me thinking all week. Maybe it’s meaningful to you, also. I hope so.