We have been looking at who Jesus is from 1st John 1:1-4. In Part 1, we unpacked verse 1 phrase by phrase. Today I will unpack verse 2 phrase by phrase.
1st John 1:2: “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.”
The life appeared
The life is that which was from the beginning. It is that which John has heard, has seen, and has touched. It is that which is older than dirt. So John, what do you mean the life appeared? How can that which was from the beginning just appear in human history?
The answer of course is the virgin birth of Jesus. When Jesus was conceived, his mother was Mary and his father the Holy Spirit. This makes Jesus both God and man. Hence, through the virgin birth “that which was from the beginning” appeared in human history as baby Jesus…both God and man. Think for a moment how complex this process was…to make the life which was from the beginning appear in human history. So as not to leave any doubt…John goes on in the verse.
We have seen it and testify to it
John wrote several books of the New Testament. Only the Apostle Paul wrote more. John is saying that he and those with him have seen Jesus. Not only have they seen him, they are testifying openly and publicly to that fact. The books of the Bible John wrote testify to what he and others saw, heard, and touched. Now I don’t know about you…but I want to read the words of the guy who saw Jesus, heard Jesus, and touched Jesus. That’s John.
And we proclaim to you the eternal life
This phrase is an enormously important play on words about who Jesus is. Jesus is the eternal life because he is that which was from the beginning. Jesus also has the words of eternal life. His words make us aware of God’s offer of salvation through him. That offer is if you confess your sins and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will experience the forgiveness of your sins, the righteousness of Jesus, and be given the Holy Spirit. You will then live forever in a new body in Heaven for all eternity. This is the eternal life John is proclaiming. But John goes on.
Which was with the Father and has appeared to us
Again, John is saying Jesus is the one who was from the beginning. He was with God the Father in the beginning. And, again, John is saying Jesus has appeared to him, and others, in human history.
So what does this mean to you? For me it reminds me how much more seriously I need to take Jesus in my daily life. I am a serious follower of Jesus. Through these words though I am reminded I should be even more serious about my relationship with Jesus. Why? Because I have a relationship with the one who was from the beginning…that’s pretty amazing! In the next two verses, 1st John 1:3-4, John explains why he is writing this to us. Stay tuned for Part 3 for the explanation.