1Jn_1:1. 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 of the Word of life;
The fact that Christ was really in the flesh, that he was no phantom, no shadow mocking the eyes that looked upon him, is exceedingly important, and hence John (whose style, by the way, in this Epistle is precisely like the style which he uses in his Gospel) — John begins by declaring that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who in his eternity was from the beginning, was really a substantial man, for he says, “We have heard him” — hearing is good evidence; “Which we have seen with our eyes” — eyesight is good, clear evidence certainly; “Which we have locked upon” — this is better still, for this imports a deliberate, careful, circumspect gaze; but better still, “Which our hands have handled” — for John had leaned his head on Jesus Christ’s bosom, and his hands had often met the real flesh and blood of the living Saviour. We need have no doubt about the reality of Christ’s incarnation when we have these open eyes and hands to give us evidence.
1Jn_1:2. For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you, that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;
That same eternal Being who is Very God of Very God, and is worthy to be called essentially Life, was made flesh and, dwelt among us, and the apostles could say, “We beheld his glory.”
1Jn_1:3. That which we have sees and heard declare we unto you,
See how he does hammer this nail as if he will drive it fast! How he rings this bell that it may toll the death-knell of every doubt!
1Jn_1:3. That ye also may have fellowship with us:
But John, what is the value of fellowship with you, you and your brethren, a parcel of poor fishermen; who warts fellows with you — hooted, despised, mocked, and persecuted in every city — who wants fellowship with you?
1Jn_1:3. And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
What a leap from the fisherman to the Father’s throne, from the poor, despised son of Zebedee up to the King of Kings! Oh! John, we would have fellowship with thee now T We will have fellowship with thy scorn and spitting, that we may have fellowship with thee, and with the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ.
This exposition consisted of readings from Gen_24:1-16; 1Sa_30:1-13; 1Jn_1:1-3.