We come to know and believe something or someone because someone has told us, taught us or testified to us about that something or someone. Or we come to know and believe something or someone because we have had direct experience with that something or someone for ourselves.
The Apostle John really knew Jesus. And John had a passion to tell us about Jesus, His Lord! He knew the flesh-and-blood man Jesus. He knew Jesus the Risen Lord. He knew that Jesus was One with the Eternal God, One as the Living Word, One as the Son with the Father and the Spirit. And John wanted everyone to know Jesus, and to know the life and the joy that Jesus is, and that Jesus alone offers.
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. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. – 1 John 1:1-4
For John, knowing Jesus was knowing life and knowing joy! John had such joy in knowing Jesus, and his passionate heart would not be completely full of joy until others also knew – and believed – that Jesus is the Eternal God, the Eternal Life and the Living Word.
Although we cannot physically see, hear or touch Jesus as John did, we can know the truth of who Jesus is. He is the Living, Eternal Word of God – present with us now and for all eternity. Our Lord Jesus makes Himself known to us through the testimony of His Word, through the testimony of His Holy Spirit and through the testimony of others.
We can know the truth of Jesus for ourselves in deep and life-transforming, hope and peace-bringing, very real ways as we see, hear and touch the testimony that Jesus gives to each of us as we trust our lives over to His care. As we grow in trusting Jesus with our daily-day experiences and with all the highs and lows we experience in the different seasons of our lives, we will get to know Jesus personally and intimately and know the joy that He brings.
John tells us that his joy will be complete when we know Jesus as the Life. And! I can assure you that knowing Jesus for who He is for yourself will bring more joy – deeper, higher, truer joy – to you than you can possibly imagine!
If you know Jesus already as the Living Word of God and as the Eternal Life given for you – Give Thanks! And share with others the joy you know in knowing Jesus – so that your joy and their joy may be complete!