|Do you know the difference between a testimony and hearsay? Now, this is not the technical definition but my own paraphrase. The difference is that one is something you have experienced yourself and the other is something you simply heard someone else say or do (kind of like gossip…but we Christians wouldn’t know anything about that, would we?). John starts his letter off by saying this is not hearsay. We have touched, we have seen, we have heard….this is a testimony. John was not only establishing his credibility here, but also reminding us that this faith we speak of is not simply a fairytale, but it is real.
Makes me wonder, if we in the church have a faith that is a testimony or simply a faith of hearsay. When we go and tell others about Jesus, is it from a deeply personal and real experience with Christ where we know His love and we love Him, or is it something we heard from or about someone else? There comes a time when the faith of the Apostles becomes ours, and we join in the story with John because we have seen it ourselves…maybe not with our eyes, but with our hearts.
1 John 1:1-3
1 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. 2 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. 3 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.