“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...” John 1:14
What gave the apostle John this amazing insight? In the very last chapter of John’s gospel, he writes, “This is the disciple who bears witness of these things, and wrote these things...” In chapter 19, where John writes about the crucifixion, he says, “He who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may also believe.”
John the apostle walked with Jesus, spoke with Him, listened, even argued with Him. John alone of all the disciples remained near Jesus along with the women at Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus asked John to take care of His beloved mother and he took her home with him. What stories would he hear from Mary? Did he ask the questions the well loved song asks? “Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.”
John wrote in 21:25, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.” That only means John knew there was so much more to write about!
John knew Jesus from His mother’s stories, from being with Him, from witnessing the crucifixion, and seeing Jesus after His resurrection from the dead. That is why John remained faithful and steadfast even in the midst of Nero’s persecution of Christians in A.D. 54 through 68, and then Domitian’s in A.D. 81-96. He was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities, still considered a threat in his old age, and there he wrote the Book of Revelation.
How about us? We may not have walked with Jesus or talked with Him, but we can read the words of one who did. As John wrote: “No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed Him.” (John 1:18)