We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. 1 John 1:3
Robert Todd Lincoln, son of US president Abraham Lincoln, was present for three major events—the death of his own father as well as the assassinations of presidents James Garfield and William McKinley.
But consider that the apostle John was present at four of history’s most crucial events: the last supper of Jesus, Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. John knew that bearing witness to these events was the ultimate why behind his presence in these moments. In John 21:24, he wrote, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.”
John reaffirmed this in his letter of 1 John. He wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim” (1:1). John felt a compelling duty to share his eyewitness account of Jesus. Why? “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,” he said, “so that you also may have fellowship with us” (v. 3).
The events of our lives may be surprising or mundane, but in either case God is orchestrating them so we can bear witness to Him. As we rest in the grace and wisdom of Christ, may we speak for Him in even life’s surprising moments.
What are some of the more surprising aspects of your faith story? How will you share your story with someone who needs to hear of God’s love?
Jesus, please help me be sensitive to those times when I can share with others how much You love us.
For further study, see Gospel Conversations: Sharing the Story of Jesus.
The word fellowship, used four times in 1 John (1:3 [twice], 6, 7) is the translation of the Greek word koinōnia, which means “participation, sharing, having something in common with others.” Elsewhere in the New Testament, this word or related words are used to show that those who embraced the truths about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection also shared their lives in practical ways. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). In Philippians, Paul used several related words to acknowledge the believers’ participation in his ministry: “I thank my God every time I remember you . . . because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (1:3–5). Their partnership included some form of material support: “Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only” (4:15).