That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 John 1:1–4
John wants you to know that he’s writing to you about the things he has seen and held. He wants you to know that he is an eyewitness and that you are getting the real testimony. What did he see? He proclaims it, he preaches it, he gives you this message: Jesus, the only Son of the Father is your Savior. The only Son of God was born of human mother and suffered and died for you. He keeps the Law for you and suffers the punishment of your sin for you. He rescues by suffering and dying and rising again. Giving you this message is joyful for John. It is unlike any other story in the history of the world. You are grafted into this story of God saving the world. This Jesus that died and lives again is your Jesus. You are children of God. So, in joy John proclaims this Jesus to you that you would have joy, too. There may be sorrow and pain in this life, but because of Jesus’ work on the cross and the Holy Spirit’s work in your baptism, you have a joy that cannot be taken from you. The church rejoices with you. John rejoices with you. Jesus rejoices that he has won you back from death to live with him forever.
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