Wisdom Devotionals

The Witness

Friday, September 27, 2019

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. John 1:6-8

Rewind the clock 2,000 years. The apostle John introduces us to a man who had only one mission in life: to advance the cause of Jesus Christ. 

His name is John the Baptizer—or John the Baptist—and in John 1:6 we find him standing before a curious crowd of thousands, ready to witness for Christ. As we’ll discover, witnessing isn’t just what he did . . . it’s who he was. 

In just the opening chapter of John’s gospel, the word witness is related to this prophet more than any other character in the Bible not named Jesus. Just look at how the apostle John describes him in chapter 1:

Verse 7: “He came as a witness”

Verse 8: “he came to testify about the Light”

Verse 15: “John testified about Him”

Verse 19: “This is the testimony of John”

Verse 32: “John testified”

Verse 34: “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God”

This wandering prophet’s entire identity was wrapped up in that single description. He wasn’t defined by his scraggly beard, or the fact that he ate locusts and honey, or the fact that he lived alone in the desert. He was marked by the fact that he was a witness for Jesus Christ. 

Is that the defining mark of your life today? If others were to write the memoir of your ministry and achievements, would they use that same adjective to describe you? 

Don’t miss the modern-day implications of that word witness, by the way. In a courtroom, a witness isn’t like a lawyer. A witness doesn’t try to build a case through rhetoric in order to win over a suspicious jury. A witness simply comes to the stand and tells the truth about what he or she has seen and heard. No gimmicks. No manipulation. Just a simple recounting of one’s experience.

That is very encouraging when thinking about our role as witnesses for Christ, isn’t it?

You don’t need a Bible degree to be a witness. You don’t have to be a pastor or an evangelist. You don’t have to have funding or popularity or publication. You just have to have a singular ambition to see the name of Christ glorified in your home, cul-de-sac, neighborhood, workplace, and city. 

After all, that is the reason God left us here on this earth. We aren’t here merely to have a family, build a portfolio, pay off a mortgage, retire at 65, and own a lakefront house. We aren’t even here to sing in a choir, set up chairs, and serve in the nursery on Sunday mornings. 

God has placed you in that family, in that city, in that occupation, in that gym, and in that retirement home for the same overarching purpose that He placed John in the wilderness: to be His witness. 

That was the commission Christ gave us before He left. So what kind of witness will you be today?