Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Promise of His Coming (36)

Eyewitnesses are so important in establishing the truth of what happened in any investigation. At the beginning of John's first letter, we find that he (and the other apostles) were eyewitnesses, earwitnesses and touchwitnesses of something most remarkable:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our [or your] joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4)

In some ways it's very similar to what John says at the start of his gospel - tracing back to the beginning, the word of life, the eternal life. Again, he affirms that this eternal life was made manifest - appeared, was visible, or as he puts it in his gospel, the word became flesh.

There's no doubt what John and the others have experienced - they heard, they saw, they touched - they lived with Jesus, and so now proclaim him to others, to us, who did not see Jesus in the flesh. Yet even though we haven't seen Jesus ourselves, we can still have fellowship with him and with the apostles, through the testimony evidence of the apostles.

It's clear here that Jesus was no ordinary man - rather, he is the manifestation of the eternal life of God; life now offered to us through fellowship with him. Without him is eternal death, with him, eternal life.

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