You remember the scene in the movie, Titanic, where the cocky oceanographer guys were skeptically interviewing Rose Calvert, the fictional character who had survived the disaster? Once they began to realize she was for real, they presumed to tell her what the sinking would have been like, using their finest computer simulations. She listens quietly. Then, with exquisite understatement, she says, “Thank you for that fine forensic analysis, Mr. Bodine. Of course, the experience of it was somewhat less clinical.“ There is no substitute for personal experience. No so-called expert or scholar can ever come close to knowing, not like the person who was actually there.
That’s what makes the Apostle John so interesting. These days, we have self-proclaimed experts and scholars who presume to tell us what Jesus was really like, or even that He never really existed! Those guys get a lot of exposure in magazines and news shows. But John was there. Look at how he begins his letter, the one called 1 John in the Bible:
That which was from the beginning (he’s talking about Jesus), 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(with my added emphasis and explanation)
Even back in John’s day, there were people who called into question the identity or personality of Jesus, who presumed to redefine Jesus according to their own preconceived ideas. John said, “Baloney! I was there; I knew Him, I saw Him, I touched Him. And I know from first-hand experience that the Man called Jesus, is the “Word of Life!””
Let’s spend several days examining some of the best stuff from 1 John. I hope you will share this with people you know who may have questions about Jesus. John knows what he’s talking about: he has been there and done that and got the t-shirt.