The Witnesses (A short meditation on John 1: 29-46)

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A person who shares with others what he or she has seen, heard or experienced is a witness. The sharing of that information is a person’s testimony. Christian witnesses testify about what they know to be true about Jesus.

In the New Testament, as is true now, Jesus alone is the subject of Christian witness (John 1: 29, 32, 36; 41-42, and 44-45). Jesus’ followers proclaim boldly and often that the love of God for humanity was made manifest in and through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. To them, Jesus is not one of several ways to God. No! He is the only way to God.

Christian witnesses – Jesus’ disciples – are anxious to share the good news of the gospel because they truly believe Jesus is the answer for the ills of the world. To them, He is not a type of Santa Clause bringing material gifts, nor a good luck charm used to acquire those things that satisfy the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  To his disciples, Jesus is not a weapon used to brow beat others into submission, or to kill steal or destroy God’s creation by using the written word of God or church doctrine to bully others. They don’t mock other people’s religious beliefs.

Instead, Christian witnesses focus on telling all who will listen that Jesus is the hope for the world. They cite Jesus’ life, crucifixion, and resurrection as evidence that to God every person has inherent value because Jesus died for all.

Like John in the referenced Scriptural text, the disciples point to Christ as the only one capable of reconciling humanity to the only true, wise, and living God – Creator.  John boldly proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1: 29 and 36).”  Ever since that day, the followers of Jesus have made the same declaration.

That is why in John 1: 41-45,  after meeting Jesus and listening to his teachings, Andrew and Phillip went back to those closest to them and encouraged them to come with them to meet Jesus. They had met the long awaited and prophesied about Liberator and they wanted the people they cared about to meet him as well.

That is how it is with Christian witnesses – disciples. They love to spread the good news. They have come to know Christ intimately and they want others to know the joy of fellowshipping with Him.

Jesus offers hope to those marginalized by the social constructs erected in every society to separate and categorize people. His witnesses, or disciples, spend their lives highlighting the err of those  constructs and they work to eradicate barriers designed to minimize the value of some while elevating the worth of others.

They accomplish this by proclaiming the truth that God cares about every individual and no person is too far submerged in sin to find forgiveness from God. They actively work to effect justice tempered with mercy and grace. They also strive for peace – when bringing about peace is within their power.

Jesus’ disciples, or witnesses, are saturated in Jesus’ teachings – they meditate on them day and night and they trust the Holy Spirit to help them practice those teachings.

Like John, the disciples become living epistles boldly proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Hallelujah and thanks to God for His marvelous amazing grace as expressed in the person and through the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ!!

 

 

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