“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, …” 1 John 1:1
There is most assuredly a “WOW” factor in John’s heart as he wrote these words. This is another way of expressing one of the names given to Jesus, Emmanuel which means God with us. It is hard to imagine that anyone could describe God’s presence in the person of Jesus Christ any better than John has.
John was able to hear all that Jesus spoke and taught, observe Jesus with his eyes, study Him with his mind and touch Him with his hands. He was even able to lean against Jesus at Passover. Who did John know Jesus was? He was absolutely convinced that Jesus is God co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. That is the testimony of this letter of his.
Since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden no one had the opportunity to have this kind of intimacy with the Creator. This was especially so for Peter James and John. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God had spoken to men in various ways through history but that the appearing of Jesus was unique beyond any comparison (1:1-4). The writer expresses the essence of Jesus coming into the world in verse 3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
The baby in a manger that we so readily picture at Christmas is God incarnate, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists, and it all exists for Him. We exist for Him! Jesus may have appeared a helpless baby but He was anything but helpless. It was mankind that was helpless, helpless to deliver itself from sin and death but Jesus has made it possible for any person to be delivered. Millions have discovered this and every day Jesus continues to build His church with those who discover the same reality. Peter calls believers “living stones” being built into a “spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
Fortunately for us the disciples were just ordinary men as we are today and that meant that questions were raised in their minds when they didn’t understand something. When they asked those questions Jesus answered them which is also to our gain. Thank God they were not so proud that they did not ask but rather humbled themselves before God and asked.
When Philip asked Jesus, “Show us the Father” (John 14:8), Jesus made it quite clear to him and all the disciples that He was claiming that He and the Father are one. That is, they are indistinguishable one from the other and inseparable (v 9).
As we spend time in reflection on who Jesus is this Christmas may it lift our hearts in praise and worship now and in holy submission for the years ahead while He tarries.