Updated: May 27, 2021
1 JOHN 1: 1-4 (NRSV) “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
John’s epistles, 1, 2, and 3 John are ones I enjoy. They are short letters when compared to letters like Romans or Hebrews, and at times we can have a tendency, because they are short, to overlook the powerful lessons found in them.
John tells us why he is writing the letter of 1 John, “that our joy may be complete.” Not only does he tell us why, but he explains Jesus, the “word of life” is personal. Notice his statements concerning the word of life:
• We have heard • We have seen with our eyes • We have looked at and touched with our hands • We have seen it and testify to it • We declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us
John is not writing about something academic, and he is not writing about something or someone who is theoretical. John is writing about Jesus, the Messiah he knows personally. He is writing so we may know Jesus and that our joy may be complete as we share in the community of Christ.
[Scripture quotations are] from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.