Witnesses…are people who have seen, heard or experienced something. Further, they may be called upon to share the information with another party, group or even in a courtroom. They may be asked to ‘testify’ as to the facts. We all have experienced this in some way, even numerous times. Theories become facts, and a court decision hinges on these eye-witnesses’ testimony.
When I was sixteen and a lifeguard at Willow Plunge swimming pool, I had to testify in a lawsuit. It was late one afternoon and most everyone had left. There was a sloping hill leading down to the pool where the water was shallow. I had observed the plaintiff wading in that area earlier. He decided to run and dive into the pool. He hit his head on the bottom, cutting himself, requiring medical attention. He sued for damages contending that the shallow end was not clearly marked. I was the only trial witness for the owner. It was my word against the plaintiff. We won. The owner gave me a t-shirt for my testimony.
Witnesses for Jesus
While reflecting on this past event, I was reminded of Jesus’ last words to the disciples before his ascension back to the Father. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1.8 NKJV). See, these men, and women, had seen him, heard him and experienced him. Now, with all this, they were to wait for Pentecost. Why? To be empowered to first, really understand what they had seen, heard and experienced; and secondly, to have power and boldness to share it with others.
Look closely at this testimony from the Apostle John. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 1.1-3).
A lasting witness and testimony
Their witness then went to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. You and I are those in that uttermost part to them. Two thousand plus years later, their witness and testimony is still as life changing today as it was then. Probably someone or several people testified to you about Jesus and you believed and received the gospel. It is the Spirit in us as believers that compels us to testify to what we have seen, heard and experienced. They did their part, and now it is up to us to do ours.
Believer, if you were called to testify, wherever, would you be bold and testify to what Jesus has meant in your life? Or would you plead the Fifth? And could to should be you articulate the gospel in a way that others would understand and could believe and receive Jesus? Dads, are you articulating and modeling the gospel to your children and extended family? It is your highest calling. Remember, the gospel radically changed these disciples and they went ‘all in’ to witness and testify to what they had seen, heard and experienced. Will we do the same?
In ten words, the gospel by which we are saved is: “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead”. (1 Cor. 15.1-5). Pray that God will use you to share it with someone this week, maybe starting with your family.