1 John 1:3
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
John is continuing his prior thought by telling us the reason for his writing. He again uses the word horaó for seen, and akouó for heard. The order is reversed compared to verse one, which may or may not have significance. I believe that God is intentional in not only what is said as scripture declares, but how it is said. In Romans 10: 17 Paul makes the statement “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The apostles first heard of Jesus, then they saw Him. Now John states this is what and who we saw, as well as what we heard. Their experience with God, as well as their understanding of Him, which came from Him not from someone else. The reason for this book is now given, and it is so that we may have. May have is the word echo, which means to have to hold or to possess. Fellowship is what is being given. The word here is koinonia – HELPS states that in its proper meaning, it is what is shared in common as the basis of fellowship (partnership, community). These men who are sharing these words with us had fellowship with Christ. They heard His claims, they saw His works, they followed in His footsteps even to death. John reiterates that because of Jesus they are indeed in fellowship with the Father. The word indeed is kai which is a definitive article. This isn’t an alternative, it joins the statements together. In John 10 there is the words of Christ in which he makes his claims of equality with the Father.
I and the Father Are One
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.30 I and the Father are one.”
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
These very claims were the thing that infuriated the Jews, and now these men who witnessed what happened were sharing the account of Jesus, so that we may be part of the fellowship with them, and ultimately with the Father and His Son, Jesus.
Observation: I wonder how many of us today would be willing to not only grab hold of something so definitive and not only “believe” it, but risk your life to proclaim it? I myself wonder to what lengths would I go? I believe the words of Christ and His claims. They are not exclusive to the New Testament. In the Old Testament God delivered His people over and over, from the first account in the Genesis to the last book of the Tanach in Chronicles. God is with His people. Jesus spoke from the Old Testament as these books spoke of Him. His claims were things the Jews of the day were very familiar with and that was what infuriated them. God gave them laws which were intended to separate His people from the gentiles. In the New Testament it is a person, who is the Word come to flesh that causes division. That is the name of the one in whom we are to believe, Jesus. God has not changed His way, He has simply made it clear. And it making it clear it sets His people apart. They are different from the unbelieving world and this was His design for us from the beginning. Some would say God is unfair to have only one way. But should we not be thankful that He gave us a way? He gave the way in the garden and continued to give a way through the Old Testament. In the New Testament that way was first paved by the apostles and the early church who believed in God’s word and saw it manifested in the Son of God. They became His followers and lived in community with God. We can be part of the community of God and have fellowship with Him because of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and what was accomplished on our behalf.
Father, thank You that You have so patiently and mercifully dealt with us, as we in our rebellion, can be saved. These are Your words Lord, and if we seek the truth, You will give it to us. It has been revealed to us in scripture and the Holy Spirit confirms it within us. I thank you personally Lord, for You have been faithful to me, a sinner, who denied You over and over again. I praise You that in Your mercy You showed me the path to redemption from my fallen place. Thank You. In Jesus name, amen.
God bless you,