John reminds us he is an eyewitness of the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection. It is as if he knows all of this will be challenged over time. His statement would have us know this is not some fanciful tale contrived by man, but the truth of God according to all he (John) has seen and felt and known.
As spectacular and unbelievable as all of this may seem to those who were not present, John assures us all these things, up to and including Jesus’ resurrection from the dead are indeed true.
Additionally, there is a point to his writing, and here it is: that anyone and everyone who reads his account over the course of history may believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ – and that He has been raised from the dead.
Writing from his perspective near the end of the first century, John would have already known the needfulness of people believing this gospel, because people were already straying from the gospel truth, and making up all kinds of fanciful tales about Jesus – either disbelieving what happened completely, or making up legendary accounts of what happened which belittled what truly did happen.
By the time John sat down to write both atheists and gnostics had taken their crack at re-writing history with the spirit of anti-Christ. All of these attempts were to place road-blocks in front of people – to stumble them from coming to the true Christ Jesus.
We are still dealing with these attempts of Satan to dissuade and divide to this day. I am so glad John spoke out so forthrightly on the subject, as he leaves us with either the choice to believe the eyewitness accounts, (his and the other Gospels,) or to believe what people who were never there had to say about the subject.
John also knows how difficult it is for people TO believe these things. His Gospel is filled with the difficulty even Jesus’ own disciples had grasping what was right before their eyes – even in the time following the resurrection of Christ.
Here we also see Jesus lovingly reeling in His fishermen – and Simon, son of Jonah in particular. The denial of his Savior had left the impetuous Peter in a precarious position with his Lord, and Jesus would have Peter know that being faithful to His mission would eventually overcome all his doubt and denial of truth. Indeed, being faithful to the commission of Christ would cost Peter his life.