10/29/F – The Real Jesus

Daniel 7:1-14; 1 John 1:1-4; Psalms 119:129-136; Proverbs 26:20

NT: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life —  that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us  —  what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:1-4‬ ‭CSB)

The Book of 1st John was likely written in John’s latter years near the end of the first century. It was written after his exile on the isle of Patmos and the events described in his book of Revelation. In his latter years, John lived and ministered in and around Ephesus, and this book was likely written to believers in that region. At that time, there was a heresy arising in the church known as Gnosticism. Gnosticism taught that all matter is evil and spirit is good – therefore it would have been impossible for an all-good spiritual God to inhabit a mortal physical body. Gnostics taught that the body that Jesus possessed was not real, and therefore Jesus did not truly die a physical death and experience a bodily resurrection. Gnostics believed that whatever deeds you did with your body could not affect your spirit because only the spiritual realm was “real,” therefore it was impossible – no matter what they did – for redeemed believers to have sin. Gnostics also believed that salvation came from divine, extra-biblical knowledge and not from faith in Christ. The main themes throughout 1st John are real and true love, light, knowledge, life and fellowship as the Apostle John came against the teachings of Gnosticism.

In this prologue to his letter, John asserted and declared the reality of Christ. At the writing of this letter, John was probably one of the last remaining of the original 12 disciples of Jesus. He lived and walked with Jesus for 3 1/2 years. He was part of Jesus’ inner circle and even witnessed first-hand the transfiguration. He walked with Jesus. He saw Jesus with his own eyes. He heard Jesus with his own ears. He touched Jesus – even leaned on His chest at the last supper. He spent time with the bodily-resurrected Jesus before He ascended into heaven.  Jesus was not an apparition that appeared to be real. Jesus was real. Jesus was the ever-existing Word of God manifested in a flesh and bones body. That same Jesus was the revelation of real love, real light and real eternal life. It was and is through that real Jesus that we are able to have real fellowship with one another and real fellowship with God. It is that real Jesus that had been and continues to be declared in the gospel of the kingdom – and it is through faith in that real Jesus that we receive salvation.

Psalms: “Your decrees are wondrous; therefore I obey them. The revelation of your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced. I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your practice toward those who love your name. Make my steps steady through your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me. Redeem me from human oppression, and I will keep your precepts. Make your face shine on your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow your instruction.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:129-136‬ ‭CSB)

For the psalmist, the only revelation of God was the word of God. The only way for him to have any level of fellowship with God was through studying, obeying and living according to the word of God. For him, the word of God was life itself. It was as necessary to him as air, food and drink. The word of God was so precious to him that he was moved to tears whenever someone would ignore God’s instruction.

The word that the psalmist adored and valued so highly was manifested in a real Man – Jesus Christ. Jesus is the perfect and ultimate revelation of God that brings true love, light and life to the earth. It is through faith in Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, that we can have real and true, everlasting fellowship with the Father and His Son. May we, like the psalmist love, adore, and revere – not only the word of God – but the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are not a mere idea or philosophy. You are real. You are the real Word of God that was manifested in a real body. You lived a real life, died a real death, and experienced a real bodily resurrection. Through faith in You, I can experience, be filled with, and walk in real love, real light, real life, real knowledge, and real fellowship. Help me live in the reality of what you have accomplished for me as I live in You by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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