First United Presbyterian Church

1 John1:1-4

1 John1:1-4

1 We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

As we read this passage, it’s important to note that we are reading the words of an old man writing a letter to followers of Jesus. About six decades have passed since John lived alongside Jesus. Now he is writing to a group of believers who are hurting because some of their church members have recently left, and questioning if Jesus was even real.

This helps explain how John begins his first letter, diving in with a description of something tangible. As odd as the translated grammar may feel, it pushes us to notice the senses he is describing—heard, seen, touched. What is he referring to? Or better yet, who is he referring to?

He is writing about his personal experience of “the Word of life”—Jesus Christ.

John wanted the readers of his letter to know Jesus really did exist physically. He actually came, really died, and literally rose from the dead. Why? Because He was on a mission to create personal relationships with us. 

John was so thrilled by the good news “God so loved the world that He gave us His Son” that he wrote about it in hopes his readers would share in it. The good news is so good it simply has to be shared. When it is, your joy will only grow!

Reflection: As Presbyterians, we often struggle to share the message of Jesus with others. Instead of awkwardly feeling pressured to proclaim the gospel, change your thinking to growing more and more thrilled with the gospel so that it overflows from you to others. Pray that this will be true for you. 

Contributed by Leigh Woodruff

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