Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“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. 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. 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”
1 John 1:1-3 (NIV)
Have you ever had someone talk to you or tell you a story that used the words to paint an image in your mind? We all have, but have you ever had someone say something to you that you did not understand because the imagery it painted was of something else than the point they were making. The one that always got me was mom saying, “If all of your friends jumped off a cliff would you?” We all get this meaning and imagery today, but as a child not understanding the code or meaning behind the words it can be confusing. After all mom, I just wanted to stay out with my friends a little longer, after all Danny can. We don’t even live near a cliff.
The code behind the cliff of course is the question saying, “Are you going to follow blindly into something that is not good for you.” But as a pre-teen that’s not the real image we get at first.
It’s the same here in these passages, We must know what the ‘Word of life’ means to get all the imagery right. What is John talking about? We can see that John saw it, heard it, and experienced it. He proclaims it as eternal. It was with the Father and we all know that Father, especially capitalized, means God Himself. But what is this Word we are to have fellowship with along with John? And how can ‘life’ appear to John?
Now, many of you already know where I am going here, but if we go back to the beginning of John’s Gospel, we can see similar language and imagery. John writes beautiful imagery.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” John 1:1-5 (NRSV).
Here again we see this imagery of the Word being something more than just a word, a being —’was God,’ ‘with God’ creating and doing. It is nothing less than the ever-wonderful Word spoken in Genesis that created all of creation in heaven and on earth! John goes on even farther to say in the last line of our daily passage, “And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” 1 John 1:3. The fellowship is with the Father as in the passage before this one, and that fellowship is with the Son, Jesus Christ too.
So, Jesus appeared and was proclaimed as the eternal life. Jesus the very word that was spoken in the beginning with God and was God before anything else ever existed—He spoke life into all of creation. He is the very life within you and me, and He APPEARED. Jesus was not just any person, He was God, fully divine. Yet John saw, heard and even touched Him. Jesus was real and not only divine but also human, fully human. He spoke, walked, breathed, and ate just like you and me. He experienced this broken world just like you and me. He had friends and family, He loved and felt pain, He wept and shouted. He was and is real!
He knows and loves you for who you are meant to be in Him, in fellowship with God.
How is your relationship with the Word (Jesus) today?