That which was from the beginning, which we have heard … (Douay Rheims)
Our ears have heard … (CEV)
… we heard it with our own ears … (MSG)
No, I mean you really can hear Jesus! Not just hear His Word in Scripture, or hear “from Him” when the pastor speaks or a friend tells you something that hits home with you …
I think the apostle stresses this fact, that he had heard the Word of Life for Himself, in part so you will know that you, too, can hear Him.
Under the Old Covenant, in the Old Testament, the children of Israel didn’t want to hear from God directly. He was a pillar of fire, and He had caused plagues on Egypt, and they were frankly afraid of Him, even though He was on their side, and they were glad to have Moses go up the mountain and talk to Him, and just tell them what God said.
But here in 1 John 1:1-4, John is showing us that with this New Covenant, the one written in the blood of the sacrifice of Christ, we can hear God for ourselves, and we don’t have to be afraid. He’s not a pillar of fire (unless we need Him to be), and no intermediary needs to stand between Him and you.
We can go to Jesus, on our own, for ourselves, and receive from Him the words of life intended for us alone, because He loves us and longs to speak with us. We can hear His words, just as John did. Don’t doubt this, and don’t second guess it.
When you spend time alone with Jesus, in silence, every day, and invite Him to come and meet with you, He will come. What He has to say may not be what you want to hear, because at first I imagine His primary business will be to walk back into the past with you and heal those hurts and hang-ups that keep your heart from being whole.
It may not be fun … at first … but it will be real, and it will transform you. I hope you’ll give it a try. Listen for Jesus. I know He will speak to you.