"I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."
Several years ago, I was involved in a car wreck. I learned very quickly that the police did not especially want to hear my version of what happened but they did want to hear what the eyewitnesses to the collision had to say. Now, they could have talked to someone who did not actually see the wreck, but who had only heard about it. However, that would be called hearsay.
The police were not interested in hearsay.
They were only interested in the facts. In order to determine the facts, it was necessary for them to interview the actual witnesses, who saw with their own eyes what transpired.
This is the premise of 1 John. Basically he says, I am an actual witness to, had fellowship with, and therefore, have firsthand knowledge of Jesus. We don't read anywhere in 1 John that he believed hearsay of what someone else experienced; no, he was there. He knew Jesus personally. You might say he was up close and personal, a special friend of Jesus. So, if we want to know about Jesus, it makes sense to listen to what John has to say, doesn't it?
Personally, I am not someone who just goes along with "he said, she said".
In such situations, we can be relatively sure that the truth is embellished or some of the facts may accidentally be left out, and of course, personal viewpoints generally always become a part of the scenario.
As we review 1 John 1:1-4, we read once again John's testimony. No, he is not in a court of law, but his own hand wrote these facts.
In 1 John 1:1, the subject of the ensuing four verses that form a single sentence in the Greek is, "We proclaim." John is talking about a topic, which we understand to be The Word of Life, namely Jesus.
We are generally accustomed to putting words together when we wish to have conversations, to interact with others, or to describe something: which is what God was doing when he inspired John to write the believers. He was communicating with us through His Son, Jesus. " The Word became flesh and lived among us." (John 1:14).
Referring back to John's eyewitness account.
He reiterates that he saw with his own eyes, not just a passing glance, but that he really saw, studied, observed, contemplated, and mentally processed his interaction with Jesus.
I am a people watcher and I enjoy being in a setting where I can observe people. It is especially interesting for me to sit in an international airport somewhere and observe people. One of my favorite airports is in Singapore. People from all over the world pass through the Changi International Airport there. Sometimes people are exhausted from spending hours on a flight, while others are just embarking on their journey and are still fresh and excited. Another group consists of those who are nearing the midway point of their destination. In any case, these situations are reflected in their behavior.
A component of "people watching" which I enjoy, is studying the actions and demeanor of travelers. Some, I merely glance at, while I spend more time watching and contemplating what others are like in their personal lives, even though I never have interaction with them. I may only have a few minutes to watch and observe these people, whereas their friends and relatives have days, weeks, months, and years to become personally acquainted with them.
Incidentally, John also had time to become personally acquainted with Jesus.
I trust what he had to say about Jesus. Their relationship endured over a significant amount of time. His encounter was not at all like mine, watching people at the airport—No, his encounter was a very personal one.
I also believe the eyewitness account of John.
I trust what he says. His observations are based on his relationship with Jesus over a considerable amount of time. He is a credible witness and his testimony would hold up in a court of law, which is good enough for me.
John tells us that Jesus is indeed the Word of Life, and I believe it. I put my faith and confidence in Him.
He is trustworthy; I do not doubt Him.
But don't just take my word for it; decide for yourself! Study, contemplate, and mentally process your thoughts on the Word of Life. Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak through your mind, so you can join with John and declare – Jesus is indeed the Word of Life.
© January 2011 Phyllis Wheeler