1 John 1:2
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father…
1. We may think of Christ as the manifestation of that eternal life whence has come all that has ever been — all creation, all nature, all time, all history; of that mysterious life which ever beats at the heart of the universe, which ever feeds its unfailing springs.
2. Christ is the manifestation of the eternal, in the extent to which He has brought more fully to light, and more practically established, the spiritual kingdom of likeness to God, of fellowship with God, for which all hearts are intended and required. He at once so guaranteed and illustrated its existence and meaning, as everywhere to lift this spiritual kingdom to a higher plane. He made it far more possible and certain than any other teacher or messenger from God had ever desired or conceived. He brought it within the reach not alone of the chiefest and the best, but also of the commonest and the lowest. He showed it to be the proper life of every man—showed that purity, righteousness, justice, mercy, patience, love, are as essential and necessary to every man as they are to God; that the true and blessed life for man means supremely this — after His own example, fellowship with God, likeness to God, sonship to God.
3. Christ manifested the eternal, not alone by the transcendent excellence and spiritual elevation of His life, but also by the power which He displayed of showing the inherent oneness of material and moral forces — in other words, of proving the rightful control of spirit over matter. What to us may look like signs or wonders or unusual phenomena, to Him were but natural facts, natural revelations or efforts of the deep, underlying oneness between things outward and inward, between all nature and life.
4. Christ manifested the eternal by revealing to us the afterlife, the future world. Of the two, that world seemed to Him even more real than this. He spoke of it with even the same deep intensity, and yet with the same calm, self-evident truthfulness as He did of the existence, and name, and character, and purpose of His Father. To Him the future world, the immortal life, were but the natural outcome of the existence and kingdom and purpose of His Father. To Him, because God is, and ever will be, man, His child, will continue to be as living, as personal as He. Jesus, knowing Himself to be the outcome, the evidence, the gift of all spiritual and eternal realities, could look beyond the seeming defeat and dread suffering of His last days, beyond the bitterness and sting of His own death, beyond the gloom and corruption of His own grave, to an existence for Himself that should be as changeless and lasting as the Father's, whose presence and truth and love He declared; nay, more — He could look beyond all the failure, pain, and death with which any of His brothers or sisters on earth should have to struggle, or to which they should succumb, and could give to them the offer, the assurance, the possession of a life as spiritual, as blessed, as immortal as His own.
(J. T. Stannard.)
Parallel VersesKJV: (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)