Updated: Jan 4, 2020
1 John 1:1 (NKJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.
What an amazing testimony, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled! Can you imagine, hearing the words we see written in red from Jesus himself! Can you imagine seeing Him with our eyes, and handling Him with our hands! As powerful as it would be, we can take great comfort that our brother John and the other apostles were able to do that very thing. Let’s take a closer look at what this verse is saying!
First, John is proclaiming that Jesus was from the beginning. This places Him at the beginning of time, He is the “Us” in Genesis 1:26. John also places Jesus at the beginning of time with John 1:1 where he says, in the beginning, was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Pretty amazing to think about.
Then we really get into the hope of this passage for us believers. John was able to hear directly from the Lord himself. I have spoken to a lot of people that claim to know a lot of things, I am not sure if you have ever experienced this, but, when you talk to someone that does not know what they are talking about, it sticks out very quickly. For instance, talking about sports with someone that does not know much about the subject. It is very clear within minutes when someone is bluffing. Now, as Jesus speaks, I am sure that if He was not who He claimed to be, it would have been very obvious, but we see the opposite. Jesus speaks with such clarity that even the Pharisees know He is not a mere man.
John got to see Jesus up close. He was able to use his eyes to really examine the Lord. The Greek word here is more like the term we would use to describe staring. Once again, if Jesus was not who He said He was, John could have quickly seen that He was a fraud. Once again, this is the complete opposite reaction we see in John. If someone is claiming to be the perfect propitiation for my sins and I see with my own eyes that he is not perfect, I am certainly not following that person.
And the final piece of this puzzle. John touched Jesus, proving that He was truly a man. We also see a disbelieving Thomas touch the body of the Lord after the resurrection, proving once again that Jesus was who He said He was.
How do we know Jesus is God? John here saying I saw, I spoke with, and I have felt, proves Jesus is indeed God. Why can we make such a claim? If you heard false things from the mouth of someone claiming to be God would you suffer for them? If you saw with your own eyes a person claiming to be perfect that was caught in sin, would you follow them? If you handled that person in any way and found them to be anything other than what they say they are, would you die for them? The answer is of course, no! Instead, we see the apostles martyred for their beliefs, killed in very brutal ways. Jesus is God, the perfect propitiation for our sin. Amen!
John is proclaiming in this passage that he was a witness to Jesus’ life and ministry. John is telling us, pleading with us really, that Jesus is God and we can depend on, and have faith in that. The question is, have you fully surrendered to the Lord who came to pay the price on the cross for your sin? I encourage you, if you haven’t already, listen to John’s witness and fully give yourself over to the Lord!
John 5:18 (NKJV)
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
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