Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jesus: I Heard, Seen and Touched Him. No Secondhand Faith (1 John 1-2)

Apostle John had heard, seen, touched and be with Jesus. So, he wrote the Truth.
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us
(1 John 1:1-2,

Apostle John begins this epistle (or letter) by reminding his readers that he was an eyewitness to the early happenings of the Christian faith. He saw Jesus do miracles and heard Him preach. John had not merely heard about Him from someone else, like us – he was an eyewitness and ear-witness. He had seen Jesus and even touched Him – something which very few people could claim.

The New Testament records many special names which describe who Jesus is – the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, and so on. In the first verse, John calls Jesus “the Word of Life.” We know that Jesus was more than a spoken Word – He was a living Word, the One sent by God to tell us what God was feeling, thinking and His personality. God showed Himself through the coming of Jesus Christ, His Son. And Jesus made it very clear that He was the only Way through whom people could know God, and that anyone who had seen Him had seen God Himself (see John 14:6-10). How exciting! John’s experience with Jesus was personal and not an inherited or second-hand faith or only read about in a book. He knew about God because he knew Jesus personally. He had seen Jesus in the flesh.

That is why John could claim to be an eyewitness to such awesome events. Not only had he heard and seen Jesus, and thus had seen God, but when Jesus returned from the dead He suddenly appeared to him and all of His other disciples. They we so shocked that they thought they might be seeing a ghost! They probably asked could this really be Jesus whom they had seen dying on the Cross and put in a grave? But Jesus asked His disciples to touch Him – to see that He still had flesh and bones, that He was not a ghost (read Luke 24:36-39). He had really risen from the grave, resurrected to live! So John wrote this epistle to “testify and proclaim… that [Jesus] is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us” (1 John 1:2).

My fellow Christian brothers and sisters, our faith is not based on secondhand news or on some fuzzy ideas that someone has put together. Impossible! Our faith in Christ is based on the fact that God Himself appeared to us through the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ, and now lives within us. Just as John was an eyewitness to the physical manifestations of these great events in the Gospel, we can be witness to the spiritual coming of Jesus into our lives through the Holy Spirit as we acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour. The changes we begin to experience will lead us along such an exciting path – always joyful and endure suffering, temporary persecutions and eternal crown, challenges and victories – that there will be no turning back! In the end, Jesus is worth to follow. Amen.


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