John begins his letter by giving his credentials. He knew Jesus personally, walked with him day-by-day, saw his miracles, witnessed his death, and ate and drank with him after the resurrection. From that direct experience, he speaks. "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 concerning the Word of life" (1 John 1:1). Who better to know and tell us the truth than one of the original 12 disciples? In fact, John often spent extra time with Jesus as one of the three (along with Peter and James) who was singled out by Jesus (e.g., Matthew 17:1-9).
John proclaims what he knows to be the truth. God became man. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. If we believe this, then we have fellowship with one another. This fellowship is both spiritual and social. Spiritually we have the same belief that Jesus is the Messiah and so we have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Socially we are united with fellow believers through good times and bad, through peace and persecution, through death into eternal life.
For Reflection: Unity in belief and fellowship helps us to hold fast to the truth. Have I gotten away from Christian fellowship? How intimately do I know Jesus?
Let us pray. Jesus, I have not walked with you in the way that John did. Still I long to be by your side, to walk with you, to talk with you, and to hear your voice every day. Nothing else could be as special to me.