What might you do if someone showed you a mystery object unlike anything you had ever seen before? Perhaps you would investigate it, cautiously at first in case it could be harmful, and then get closer and closer, reaching out to touch it, and then picking it up and examining it closely.
This is how John describes his encounter with Jesus, the living Word of God. First, he heard, and then he saw with his own eyes. Then he looked – this word might better be translated as ‘contemplated’ – and finally, he touched with his own hands.
John’s words give us a picture of increasing closeness and intimacy with Jesus. He draws closer and closer, using different senses as he learns more about him. He wants to fully investigate him, fully know him and fully experience him.
Out of his deep, intimate knowledge of his Saviour, John is then able to share a gospel message with the recipients of this letter, and everyone who has read his words over the centuries.
What stage of exploration are you at in your relationship with God? Are you still only hearing, or have you started to take a look really contemplate him, or even reach out and touch him? Throughout the scriptures, God calls his people to come to him, to draw close to him. This is his desire, and he has made it possible through Jesus. We do not need to hang back, looking on from a distance. We can, like John, really get close, really look, really listen and really reach out to the Lord.
We never come to the end of investigating and discovering our amazing God. Let us never stop pursuing him.