Summary: Since we cannot have a face to face with Jesus, we need to rely on a reliable witness so we can learn about Him.
• How many of us would like to see Jesus in person. Who would like to speak with Him, and walk with Him, maybe even go shopping with Him?
• I think we all would like to be able to sit down and have a face to face with Jesus. I had a friend of mine I used to work with who would tell me that he would believe in Jesus if Jesus would appear to him and speak with Him.
• It is interesting to me that the disciples spent three years walking with Jesus, listening to His wonderful teachings, observing the miracles, yet they still had problems with their faith at times.
• These men spent three years with Jesus, yet I have to believe they still remained unconvinced as to who He was.
• I do not want to sound like I am picking on them, because when you think about what Jesus was claiming about Himself, it was incredible to think about.
• In my opinion it was not until after the resurrection that the disciples fully grasped who Jesus was, and once that happened, nothing would stop them from carrying out the missions at hand. They were fearless because they KNEW who Jesus was.
• The disciples knew Jesus, but after the resurrection, they REALLY KNEW without a doubt who He was.
• Thomas was one of the disciples who would not believe Jesus was alive unless he saw Jesus himself. When Jesus appeared to Thomas, He said in John 20:29. SLIDE #2
• John 20:29 says: Jesus said* to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
• Now let us think about our situation for a moment. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that we are going to get a face to face with Jesus as long as we live on this earth.
• Then, how can we get to know Him as the disciples came to know Him? How can we believe who He is without seeing Him?
• If you cannot experience something for yourself, or if you cannot have the opportunity to know someone in person, what is the next best thing we can do?
• We can read what others say about a person or an event.
• We visited the Lincoln Library. I have read stuff about the Civil War, but to read what those who were in the battles had to say really brought me close to what happened even after over 100 plus years.
• All that we know about history comes to us through what others have written. How do we determine if what we are reading is true or an embellished story? If we were to read a book about a Democratic president for instance we would want to know the writers bias. We would want to know who the writer was, what their credentials were and what their motive for writing their book was.
• Is the person an eyewitness to what they are writing about or are they getting things second third or fourth hand?
• When we know these things, we then can make a determination as to if we are going to trust the content.
• Today we are going to start a series of messages in 1 John. We are going to answer some of the questions I have raised.
• Sometimes I believe we just read the Bible was if it were some story written from the mind man instead of understanding what we are reading is the mind of God written through man.
• We need to realize the Biblical writers were real men who lived real lives in a real time.
• Today we are going to look at one of the witnesses to Jesus. I hope that as we read his words that we will realize that this person gives us a firsthand personal account about Jesus. This person is a reliable witness. SLIDE #3
I. THE WITNESS.
• Who is the witness we are reading from? Is this person a reliable source for good information?
• As we look at the book of 1 John, you will not see the author naming himself in the beginning of the letter as typical of the time; however, there has been little to no question concerning the authorship of this book.
• CLICK #3 The book is attributed to the Apostle John. Two of John’s disciples Polycarp and Papias quote from it attributing it to their teacher. We have a plethora of other evidence we could go to in order to establish the author is John the Apostle who also wrote Revelation and the Gospel of John.
• CLICK #3 John was the son of Zebedee. CLICK #3 John was apparently a well-to-do fisherman. (Lk 8:3, Jn 19:27, 18:15)