That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 1 John, verse 1.
A happy new year to you! It’s been a few days since we got together; I took them off to rest up and gain perspective. And I think I needed that perspective because I feel hesitant to comment on the New Testament. The Old Testament is closed history, finite and finished. Not so the New Testament, which is still unfolding because it is Christ’s message for how to live now, not just way back when it was brand new.
1 John was written by the Apostle John, Jesus’ personal friend, ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ He had been with Christ throughout His earthly ministry: at the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ was transfigured, in the upper room at the Last Supper, and at the foot of the Cross the next day. John wrote the book of John, the mysterious and terrifying Revelation, and he wrote the three short epistles that are numbered with his name.
I like how he started this letter with first principles. John didn’t speculate, or equivocate, or even wax lyrical. He simply stated what he had learned to be the truth, then shared it so others could know it too. So why does it seem hard to understand that this is recorded history? Maybe I just need to get over myself.
In the past year, my daughter got married, my son became a junior, my other daughter got a new job selling clothing, I traveled everywhere, and my wife worked longer hours than anyone I know. Romney fell short in the election, a lunatic murdered those people in Connecticut, and Christmas has come and gone. These were real events, things that really happened.
Just like what and who John saw. He recorded history that he saw because he personally knew the Savior, and witnessed Jesus’ many miracles, even participating in them. In our so-called modern age, it’s easy for us to look with scorn at the Bible, as if it’s a myth or simply a collection of stories. That’s just not true, though. These verses talk about real things that really happened, and lay the groundwork for solid lessons to come. It’s history, the truth.
Knowing that, thanks to my wife for the following idea: let’s close with a prayer.
Jesus, thank you for eyewitnesses who recorded the things you taught, did and want us to know. Walk with me through the reality of today and guard my heart with your real, lasting love.