|Doubting Saint Thomas, Béla Iványi-Grünwald|
They were touching eternity.
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the awestruck wonder of it in the first words of the Apostle John's first letter...
This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life— and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us).
1st Letter of John 2.1-2
Severus of Antioch, monk, theologian, and Bishop of Antioch contemplates this...
"Given that this same John also said, “No one has ever seen God,” how can he assure us that the living Word of life has been seen and touched? It is clear that it was in his incarnate and human form that he was visible and touchable. What was not true of him by nature became true of him in that way, for he is one and the same indivisible Word, both visible and invisible, and without diminishing in either respect he became touchable in both his divine-human nature. For he worked his miracles in his divinity and suffered for us in his humanity."
Severus of Antioch (fl. 488–538).
Note: Yes, Severus held some odd views on how God and man came together in Christ, but his comments on John's letter are totally orthodox.
Catena in Epistolas Catholicas, 106
Oxford: Clarendon, 1840, J. A. Cramer, ed.