- Enoch “walked with God”/ Gen 5
- Abraham “friend” of God/ 2 Chron. 20:27
- Moses talks with God face to face/ Exod 33
I. Revelation of Jesus as the Word of Life vv 1-2
A. John begins by asserting four things concerning the Word of Life.
- His origin. He asserts that Jesus was in existence at the beginning of time. Before the work of creation began, He was. John’s Gospel begins on the same note, establishing that at the beginning of time Jesus was there with the Father.
- His words. He assets “what we have heard”. The word akekoamen is used in the perfect tense, which is a past action with a present meaning. John is stating to his readers that he is talking about all the things that he heard Jesus say and that it was as if he heard them the day before. The words of Christ were as clear as unfrosted glass in his mind, as pure as newly fallen snow, as refreshing as a springtime shower.
- His actions. John says “what we have seen with our eyes” concerning the Word of Life. The Gk. Word heorakame means to see with the eyes and to perceive with the mind. The apostle John is communicating to us that just as Jesus’ words are securely fixed in his mind, so is everything he ever saw Him do.
- His body. Fourthly, John makes it clear that this was not just some spirit or phantom he heard and saw as the Gnostics would suppose, but that he physically touched His nail-scared hands and saw the place where His side had been pierced. Luke 24: 36-39 gives of a picture of what Johan and the other apostles saw. Interestingly, John’s reference here in 1 John 1:1 and in John 1:1 as the Word or the Word of Life, philosophers and Jewish teachers talked about a divine Word but not of one that had physical form. John makes the humanity of Jesus clear and unarguable.
B. Now lets look at v 2. Here he declares that “the life was manifested”. The life, Jesus, was made known to them. To make something manifest is to make something that is hidden or unknown visible and known. Jesus was revealed to John and the rest of the apostles not only physically but spiritually. They knew Him intimately. They had a deep relationship with Him. He goes on to say “we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life”. These are the marks of his apostolic ministry. What you see, you bear witness of, what you bear witness of, that you announce openly to others. Now the phrase “the eternal life” makes it clear that Jesus has always been and will always be. Having been with the Father from the beginning then having been manifested to men, brings to the forefront the basis of John’s message—that Jesus was both God and man, the God-Man as some have noted.
- Have you ever met someone who just couldn’t really believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Perhaps you know a co-worker or a friend or even a family member who denies that Jesus was God in physical form.
- Fill in latter.
II. Relationship to be received
Now the thought began in v 1 is completed here in v 3, “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also”. I think of those scenes in movies when everyone is sitting around the dinning table, the food is all laid out before them and someone taps their glass as they rise to their feet—ready to propose a toast, ready to bring recognition of why they are all gathered together. Here we come to the “toast of the passage. John says ‘we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us”. The first two verse build up to this point.
- Fellowship with the saints. First of all he makes it clear that he wants them to share in his message. Notice that he says “we proclaim to you also”. What he is saying is that everything that he has heard from Jesus, everything he personally witnessed Him do, and the fact that he saw and touched the risen Christ—allof this he wants to make know to them just as it has been made known to him. Second he wants them to share in his relationship with the Father and with the Son. He says “so that you too may have fellowship with us: and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ”. The Gk word translated fellowship is koinonia and it mans to participate with someone or something. The word expresses a two-sided relationship. John is saying that he wants them to have a joint relationship with other believers.
- Fellowship with the Father and the Son. Then he expounds the idea by declaring the source of that fellowship, God. We have a two-way relationship with God and with Jesus Christ. We can see this picture developing in John 14:20-23. So what is John saying to us? Fellowship with God is possible, but there is a pre-condition. You must first believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who took human form, revealed Himself to man, and died on the Cross for our sins.
III. Reward of fellowship
The reward of genuine fellowship with the Father and with others in the church is that of complete joy. John spends the rest of his epistle showing how true fellowship with the Father and the Son is joy indeed.