John 3:22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.
1 John 1:1-3
1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched. He is the Word of life.
2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
In our modern times, hanging out with somebody is frequently done via our cell phones. We text, we video call, we chat, we email (how 20th century!). In the “old days” hanging out meant spending time with people, friends, family, work, or colleagues. We were close, doing things together. As a result, relationships were developed, grew, and deepened.
That is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ did with His disciples. That is how they got to know Him and trust Him. In John 3:22 we see Jesus spending time with his disciples. The Greek word which is translated spending time is diatribo. It literally meant to rub continually, to wear away, to be worn smooth, to wear out by rubbing. In the 21st century, lots of folks wear jeans that are worn through because of use. Many cut or tear their jeans to accelerate the process. The English word diatribe comes from this word and it means bitter and abusive speech or writing that wears you down.
In the New Testament, diatribo is connotes spending or passing time. Today’s modern equivalent would be hanging out or rubbing shoulders, or perhaps even burning daylight.
When we spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ, we are rubbing shoulders with Him. We are the ones who get worn down. He smooths out our rough edges and we become different!
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
REFLECT & PRAY
All children of the King are welcome to come to Him. He wants to spend time with us! The Lord Jesus Christ beckons us to come (Matthew 12:28-29). He makes the offer; the choice is entirely up to us.
Father how I long to experience the warmth and comfort of Your loving arms. Too often I feel blocked. Please remove any barriers that exist on my side.
Of all the apostles, who had the closest relationship with Jesus?
23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining at the table on Jesus’ bosom Jesus in a place of honor.
24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?”
25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
Peter was referring to the apostle John (John 21:24).
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine what that would be like. Wow!
In his gospel, John uses the word translated bosom or reclining only one other place: John 1:18. The Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, was in the bosom of the Father. He graphically portrays the close connection between the Father and the Son. They were as close as you could get
No doubt, John recalled his delightful times hanging out with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful bonding experience. As he remembers, John gets excited, and his enthusiasm is contagious. His words are filled with excitement and reveal the emotions that underlie them. He can hardly contain the thrill of what he experienced. He not only saw Him up close, but John also touched Him! John’s excitement builds to a crescendo as he exclaims his tremendous privilege of proximity.
A small amount of his exhilaration can be felt when his words are read rapidly, out loud with emotion. Try it.
1 John 1:1-3
1What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life –
2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us –
3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
John had the wonderful privilege of not only seeing the living God, but John spent time with Him, John touched the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
1 John 1:1 is the only place in the New Testament where the expression, to touch with the hands is used. The Greek verb translated to touch is pselaphao. Pselaphao originally meant to look for something with a degree of uncertainty that it would ever be found. It meant to feel around for or grope for. It is the word used when people were in search of God (BDAG).
The spirit of God often uses irony that is only discovered upon reflection. The world gropes about searching for God, not necessarily finding Him. John uses the same verb with just the opposite sense. He was not vainly groping for the Father without effect. Rather, John reached out and touched the living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“In the present context, the author is clearly using the verb to mean actual touching with the hands. By doing so he claims that his proclamation rests on the experience of not only seeing, but also of having touched with his own hands the Word of life” (Kruse).
All children of the King may not have the privilege in this life of seeing and touching Him, but we can all see Him with the eyes of faith. For some, this is almost as real as touching physically.
Hebrews 11:27 By faith . . . we see Him who is unseen.