We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete – 1 John 1:3-4
Why does John and the other apostles find it so important to tell us what they have seen and heard regarding their interaction with Jesus? So important that they would constantly risk their lives and eventually lay down their lives to make sure we heard their testimony?
All the apostle except for one, John suffered violent deaths. They had an easy method of escape, simply recant and renounce their testimony. However, all of the apostles choose martyrdom, intense horrific torture rather than recant their testimony. Both Andrew and his brother Peter were crucified, with Peter being crucified upside down. The apostle James, John’s brother was beheaded as was Mattias & Paul. Bartholomew was skinned alive and later beheaded. Although the apostle John, who wrote this book, is believed to be the only apostle who died a normal death from old age, it wasn’t from a lack of trying to kill him. He too faced horrific torture but miraculously survived being boiled alive in oil. Since this didn’t kill him, he was then imprisoned on an island.
Why? What was so important and valuable to them that not just one of them but all of them would endure such suffering and not just once but continuously? This wasn’t a onetime event for them, but a chosen lifestyle of suffering for a message to be heard by us and for a person to be made known to us.
The life appeared ; we have seen it and testify to it , and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. – 1 John 1:2
What was it that made Jesus so extraordinary? It was the eternal life he held within him. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4,9) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5:26) As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will not hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. (John 6:57, 35) “…the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us. (1 John 1:2)
The life within Christ was no ordinary life. It was eternal life.Continue Reading
The Apostle John starts out his letter in 1 John emphasizing both the deity and humanity of Christ together because we can have no relationship, no fellowship with God, apart from confessing that Christ was indeed the Son of God.
This confession, this whole hearted conviction that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, is the first step towards God, because no one who denies the Son has the Father but whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23) Whoever hates me hates my Father also. (John 15:23) To reject Jesus as the Son of God, is to reject God the Father and to call Him a liar; It was God Himself who claimed Jesus as his own Son, (Matthew. 3:17, Matthew 17:5) who sent Jesus into the world, (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10) and who Jesus represented in the world. (John 14:9-11, John 16:28) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-23)
You shine your light
on the walls of my heart
you illuminate the cracks and dust
from years of neglect
your light brings everything into sight
Nothing is hidden from your eyes
Not even my shame for the state my heart is in
You see all the cobwebs and mold that has flourished in the dark
All the fallen chips, collapses and fractures
You step over the weeds of anger and bitterness that threaten to choke me.
I hold my breath in fear,
But you say nothing about the condition my heart is in.
Instead you continue walking closer towards me,
shining your light and examining my heart
inch by inch, you come closer and closer to my core
I am filled with fear and shame
at the presence of my Lord
I am not worthy to be looked upon
by righteousness Himself
But that is no matter to you
You bought me
I am yours
You see every spot where my heart has thinned and weakened
All the gaps and crevices that were never filled
All my vain and futile attempts to fill and cover them on my own.
You silently examine it all.
All the nooks and crannies that I have memories tucked and hidden away in.
All the craters and depressions from where my heart was hit straight on.
You see it all.
All the noises, voices and negative thoughts that still echo through it’s chambers.
All the off hand remarks that stabbed my soul,
You hear it all.
I hold my breath
Your eyes turn to see my wounds.
All the wounds that I protected and kept hidden.
All my hurts that cause me to lash out and withdraw from others
to protect myself from ever being touched again.
Even now as you look at them, I flinch and draw away.
In fear and shame I just want to hide.
But gently you move my hands aside,
And you touch it all
You touch the very core of my heart
with your warm love
and tender grace
You stare lovingly down into my face
Your light poured into my cold, dark empty soul
Filling every crack with yourself
Until my heart overflowed
I cannot contain you
The heavens, the highest of heavens cannot contain you
How much less this heart where you have came to dwell?
Once I was an empty, broken castaway
A rebellious, unwanted runaway
But You Jesus have claimed me for yourself
And placed me in the heavens safe on your high shelf
You have given me a permanent place to stay
And filled me with the richness of yourself
Who ever knew that one day, I would hold such wealth?