Summary: Something wonderful, The Word - The Light had come John was a first hand witness! This is his introduction to freedom as people walked in the light. It madehis joy complete to tell the news!
The letters that are contained in the New Testament are written to the early church to give an understanding to the people of God, that extends beyond what they already knew, I’m keen to do a series on the letters of John.
A little bit of background on these letters from a start. John was the apostle John, John the brother of James, the son of Zebedee and Salome, who was incidentally Mary, Jesus mums sister by some accounts. This makes John, Jesus’s cousin. It is believed that the letters and John’s gospel have the same author; as does the book of Revelation. It is thought John lived until the second century, which shows his young age when becoming a disciple of Jesus. He was the only disciple of Jesus who was not martyred. He is also remembered in the gospels as the “beloved disciple”. He was a fisherman when called by Jesus.
You may recall that when Jesus calls his first disciples he calls Peter and Andrew. “Then going from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.” (Matthew 4:21-22)
John, a young fisherman, a student of the rabbi Jesus, lives alongside the other eleven throughout Jesus ministry. He is one of three disciples along with Peter and James who made up Jesus inner circle. From this man we have an in-depth first hand insight into who Jesus is. It is thought that the letter is written by him before 85AD.
Well, all that considered let’s have a look at John’s first letter. Let’s read the first chapter all ten verses. [READ].
1) In the first couple of verses we get this description of ‘something’, ‘something’ that was in the beginning – now when was the beginning? Well my own beginning was back in 1963, but I get the idea here that we are going back a bit further, what year were you born Fred? (Fred is 89, 1923), or Dorothy 1919? No I think we’re going back further than that, to THE beginning. Yip right back to where God created the heavens and the earth, to the Genesis of creation itself. But we might even be going a little further back than then. If we look at Johns Gospel we have a bit of a parallel sort of explanation going on, “In the beginning was the Word, [note the capital W depicting a name] and the Word was with God , and the Word was God, He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2) Are you with me? So this something John is discussing is God.
John goes onto describe this ‘something’ as “we have heard, we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched” - this he proclaims concerning the Word [there goes that name again] of life.
So looking at this first verse; what John is doing is giving this description that I said was of something or so it appears but actually by giving the title “Word of life”. John is actually describing someone. Someone they heard, they saw, they touched. What John is doing here is saying I’ve lived beside this person I’m talking about, this is a first-hand true account that I’m coming out with, my own knowledge of the Word of Life.” It’s a bit like me saying that “I’ve known a good number of you for a few years now, I’ve shaken your hands, I’ve heard you speak and spent a bit of time with you, I may have heard about you before, but now I have first-hand knowledge of you”. In the same way John is stating that he has first-hand experience of what he is talking about.