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1 John 1:1-4



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. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

(verses 1-3)

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This statement takes us right back into the first words of John’s Gospel account. “In the beginning was the Word … In him was life, and that life was the light of men … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Joh 1:1, 4, 14).


It takes us back to John’s initial encounters with Jesus. Likely he was a young, eager follower of John the Baptist, who heard the declaration, “Look, the Lamb of God!”, and chose to investigate (John 1:35-42, John most probably being Andrew’s unnamed companion).


It takes us back to that moment in Peter’s boat with the great catch of fish when he, together with Peter and Andrew and James, left everything (boats and nets and haul of fish) to follow Jesus.


It takes us back to those succeeding years when John walked side by side with the Master, breathing the same air, eating the same food, listening to words of eternal life, watching blind eyes restored and dead bodies filled with new vitality. We’re reminded that he knew himself to be loved, called “Friend,” chosen to be in Jesus’ company. He was there on the night of Jesus’ betrayal, reclining with him at the Passover Meal, watching with him in the Garden, witnessing his arrest, waiting in the High Priest’s courtyard, then standing with Jesus’ mother at the foot of the cross.


He was there at the tomb, seeing empty grave clothes and believing. He was there in the Upper Room, surprised, then rejoicing, when Jesus suddenly appeared, saying, “Touch me and see” (Luke 24:39).


Yes, he heard, saw, touched. To us he has borne witness. To us he has made proclamation. We, therefore, have received this eye-witness message of eternal life so that we, like him, might have fellowship with the Father. So that we, like him, might have fellowship with the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


May we enter in. May our ears always be attuned to the Word. May our eyes be opened to glory. May we fully embrace life. May we, too, know that we are the ones Jesus loves. To the praise of his glory. Amen.

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Dear Lord Jesus, though I have not seen you, I love you. And even though I do not see you now, I believe and am filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Thank you for John’s eyewitness account. Thank you for your revelation. Thank you for drawing me, like John, into your circle. Amen.

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Reflect:

Take time to meditate on one of the events John himself would have experienced – the Mount of Transfiguration, or 5000 fed, or the blindman healed, or Lazarus raised, or the trauma of the cross, or the wonder of the empty tomb. What did he see? Ask the Lord to teach you about himself from the sighting. Embrace faith.

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Photo by Alessandro Bellone on Unsplash

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