1 John 1-4: Appealing to the senses

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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. 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. 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. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. (1 John 1:1-4 NLT)

John the apostle, who is often called the disciple whom Jesus loved, appeals to the senses of his audience. He knows his readers have not actually seen Jesus, heard him speak, or touched Him like He (John) himself had. His readers are reading his letter some 40-50 years after Jesus had died on the cross, so none had the opportunity to personally know Jesus like John did.

This is the reason why John writes what He writes. He wants his fellow Christians to know, they have good reason to trust in Jesus and know God did come in the flesh, in a body, in a visible, revealing way to people. John is pointing to hard facts, things that cannot be denied. He is not trying to convince through argumentation or even reasonable data; John simply appeals to what our senses God has given us. Scientists love hard facts and would be impressed by Johns claims. Most of them think only what our five senses can prove are real. Well scientists take a look at 1 John 1!

John and the other apostles heard Jesus speak. Hearing is one of the five senses.

John and the other apostles saw Jesus with their own eyes. Seeing is one of the five senses.

John and the other apostles touched Jesus with their own hands. Touching is one of the five senses.

3 out of 5! That’s favorable odds in favor of Jesus!

Guys, gals, know this…John and the other writers of the New Testament, most of them are eye-witnesses of Jesus, him living and doing miracles. They provide for us in the Bible a brief summary of some of the things Jesus did and taught. They did not lie about what they saw. If you think they did or possibly could have, what would they have gained? In the end, most of them were killed for their faith and profession of Jesus as the Christ and Lord of the Heavens and Earth. Who dies for a lie?

Just some food for thought…

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