Today’s passage: 1 John 1:1
Focus verse: This we proclaim concerning the Word of life. (1 John 1:1)
We notice many similarities between the beginning verses of 1 John and the opening passage of the gospel of John. We don’t know which one John wrote first, but we sense that one informed the other.
It could be that John wrote his letter first and then expanded on the opening verses when he wrote his biography of Jesus. Or it could be the other way around, with John penning his gospel first and condensing the first eighteen verses to begin his letter.
In the opening lines of 1 John, the disciple confirms Jesus’s presence at our world’s formation (also consider John 1:1–2). And John confirms Jesus’s presence during the apostle’s lifetime.
Consider other biblical writers. We can applaud Luke for investigating the life of Jesus to write his biography of the Messiah (Luke 1:3–4). We can also affirm Paul’s experience with Jesus who appeared to him last (1 Corinthians 15:7–8) in a supernatural encounter (Acts 9:3–6).
Yet John reminds us that his knowledge of Jesus is firsthand. He has an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus. Using the pronoun we, John says he’s not alone in his testimony of the Messiah. It was a group encounter.
Along with others, John heard Jesus’s words. John saw Jesus with his own eyes. And after Jesus rose from the dead, John experienced the resurrected Christ, looking at him and seeing his scars (John 20:20).
John writes his letter to tell others of his experience with the Savior. He proclaims what he knows about the Word of life—about Jesus—to his readers then and to us today.
In addition to being the Messiah (the Christ) and our Savior, Jesus is the Word of life.
Just as the words he spoke brought forth life during creation, the words he spoke during his time on earth brought forth life to those who followed him then—and to us now.
And when we die, the Word of life will bring forth eternal life for us so we can join him and live with him in paradise.
Yes, Jesus is the Word of life.
And John proclaims the Word of life to the readers of his letter so that we can personally experience Jesus. His kingdom is for us now and for eternity. As the Word of life, he guides us in how to live our lives today and guides us into living with him forever.
- What do you think about Jesus taking part in creation?
- What does the phrase Word of life mean to you?
- Do you believe in the Word of life?
- How might John’s firsthand witness of what Jesus did elevate John’s writing above most other books of the New Testament?
- What do you think about Jesus’s kingdom being for us now and for eternity?
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.