"From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in -- we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen!" (1 John 1:1-2, The Message).
These are the words of the first devout Jews who walked with Jesus. And down through the ages these words have been echoed in the hearts and lives of faithful Jews and Gentiles who still walk with Jesus today.
One example is Alfred Edersheim. Born in the early 1800s in Vienna, Austria to Jewish parents, Edersheim was well educated both in the secular subjects of the day and in the Talmudic traditions of his family's faith. As a young man he converted to Christianity and then went on to study to become a Presbyterian minister and eventually a vicar in the Church of England.
His love for Christ was unsurpassed, as is evident in these inspiring words taken from his classic work --The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
"To the question whether One has appeared Whose claims to Messiahship have stood the test of investigation and of time - impartial history can make only one answer. It points to Bethlehem and to Nazareth.
If the claims of Jesus have been rejected by the Jewish Nation, He has at least, undoubtedly, fulfilled one part of the mission prophetically assigned to the Messiah. Whether or not He be the Lion of the tribe of Judah, to Him, assuredly, has been the gathering of the nations, and the isles have waited for His law.
Passing the narrow bounds of obscure Judea, and breaking down the walls of national prejudice and isolation, He has made the sublimer teaching of the Old Testament the common possession of the world, and founded a great Brotherhood, of which the God of Israel is the Father.
He alone also has exhibited a life, in which absolutely no fault could be found; and promulgated a teaching, to which absolutely no exception can be taken. Admittedly, He was the One perfect Man - the ideal of humanity, His doctrine the one absolute teaching. The world has known none other, none equal. And the world has owned it, if not by the testimony of words, yet by the evidence of facts.
Springing from such a people; born, living, and dying in circumstances, and using means, the most unlikely of such results - the Man of Nazareth has, by universal consent, been the mightiest Factor in our world’s history: alike politically, socially, intellectually, and morally.
If He be not the Messiah, He has at least thus far done the Messiah’s work. If He be not the Messiah, there has at least been none other, before or after Him. If He be not the Messiah, the world has not, and never can have, a Messiah."
Jesus is the Messiah; the Lord and Savior of the World. May we be so blessed as those who have gone before us, to know and walk with this Man. May the Word of Life Himself appear right before OUR very eyes in these days that are upon us!