1 John 1:1-4 (NLT)
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
V1, The doctrinal foundation of all true fellowship is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no true fellowship with those who hold false views concerning Him. The first two verses teach His eternity and the reality of His Incarnation. The same One who existed from all eternity with God the Father came down into this world as a real Man. The reality of His Incarnation is indicated by the fact that the apostles heard Him, saw Him with their eyes, gazed upon Him with deep meditation, and actually handled Him.
The Word of life may refer to Jesus, who is the Word (see John 1:1) and the life (see John 14:6), or possibly to the gospel message and all that it says about eternal life. Most likely, the reference is to Jesus, the Word who brings life. This life is a gift from God, a gift that cannot be earned or taken from us.
V2, confirms that the One who was with the Father, and whom John calls that eternal life, became flesh and dwelt among us and was seen by the apostles.
The following lines by an unknown author show the practical implications of these first two verses for our lives:
“I am glad that my knowledge of eternal life is not built on the speculations of philosophers or even theologians but on the unimpeachable testimony of those who heard, saw, gazed at, and handled Him in whom it was incarnate. It is not merely a lovely dream, but solid fact, carefully observed and an accurately recorded fact.”
V3, The apostles did not keep this wonderful news as a secret, and neither should we. They realized that the basis of all fellowship is found here and so they declared it freely and fully. All who receive the testimony of the apostles have fellowship with the Father, with His Son Jesus Christ, and also with the apostles and all other believers. How wonderful that guilty sinners should ever be brought into fellowship with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ! And yet, that is the very truth which we have here.
His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus and Christ are one and the same Person, and that Person is the Son of God. Jesus is the name given to Him at birth, and therefore speaks of His perfect humanity. Christ is the name that speaks of Him as God’s Anointed One, the Messiah. Therefore, in the name Jesus Christ, we have a witness to His humanity and to His deity.
Messanic Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled
Messiah would be crucified with criminals
Isaiah 53:12 (ESV)
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Matthew 27:38 (ESV)
Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
Messiah would be given vinegar to drink
Psa 69:21 (ESV)
They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
Mat 27:34 (ESV)
they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced
Psa 22:16 (ESV)
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet.
Jn 20:25-29 (ESV)
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”