Twice in 1 John 2, the apostle tells his readers that they know “him who is from the beginning” (2:13, 14). What does this phrase mean? Whom did John say that his readers knew? If we looks through John’s writings, including both the Gospel of John, the epistles, and the Revelation, then it is possible for us to identify this character “who is from the beginning” with a high degree of certainty: It is our Lord Jesus Christ, Who occupies eternity and came to Earth.
In John 1:1-3, we read about Christ’s existence prior to coming to Earth: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John goes on to tell us that the Word is the Christ who became flesh (John 1:14). So, Christ was “in the beginning.”
John begins his first epistle in much the same way: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” (1 John 1:1-2). John here says that he was an eyewitness of Christ, the Word. This is the same word about whom John wrote in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and the same one Who is “from the beginning” in 1 John 2:13, 14 (see Guy N. Woods, I and II Peter, I, II, and III John, and Jude [Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1991], 236-237).
Jesus’ eternality has some vital implications for us, including the following:
- Jesus Christ is God. Only God inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:14). Jesus is not a created being, but is rather the Creator (Colossians 1:13-16).
- Jesus Christ, as both God and man, is positioned to mediate between God and man. Only a God-man could do this, and Jesus is just such a person (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:15; 12:24).
- Jesus Christ is a wonderful, humble servant. He was co-equal with God the Father in heaven, but humbled Himself in order to make Himself the sacrifice for our sins (Philippians 2:5-10).
What a magnificent Savior is our eternal Lord, Jesus Christ!