Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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; (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 which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4 KJV)
My favorite New Testament authors are Luke and John. Luke because he follows a timeline, and in Acts he’s right there in the action. John because he writes more about the spiritual, and here he gets specific as to how he knows about what he’s writing.
He heard Jesus speak, and wrote down His words. He saw Jesus do miracles that men could not. He touched him, and he saw him after His resurrection, so John knew specifically about the eternal life. John needed to declare all these things, to share them in order to give others joy.
Luke was writing to a ‘friend of God’ to tell, in order, what he believed because it was delivered to him by eyewitnesses. We are not told if Luke saw Jesus, but since he spoke with those who were witnesses from the beginning, I believe he spoke with Mary and was able to give us the story of Christ’s birth.
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, (Luke 1:1-3 KJV)
John writes of joy, Luke tells us angels proclaimed it. It reminds me of a David Psalm:
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalms 51:12 KJV)
There is a joy in the salvation God provides. Unfortunately, it cannot be experienced in increments as one approaches God. It comes when we understand our salvation is an accomplished fact, that God is able to care for what we’ve handed to Him. Just as John, that’s what we want to share with others. We want to proclaim glad tidings of great joy, mostly because we’ve experienced it.
We’ve also experienced grief, disappointment and loss. We know that’s part of life on this earth – experienced by our Lord, too. There’s much more, and for that we are grateful. Thanks be to God for the joy of His salvation!!