The Witness

Jesus Christ is the only perfect witness we can and will ever be able to observe as Christians. Through His short life on earth, He became a beacon of light for many to follow and many more to reject. And as Christians, we’re commanded to follow the example He laid before us:

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving an example, that you should follow in His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21, NIV)

The part of that verse that really stands out to me is the “because Christ suffered for you” since I feel that it implies two things. Firstly, if Jesus went as far as dying on the cross for us, should we not give our all to Him? To think that sometimes I “run out of time” in the day and I’m too busy to spend time in the Bible/pray is pretty crazy. Secondly, it implies that following Jesus may result in us suffering. Whether that means persecution or something less immediately visible (maybe alienation of friends?), we’ve been given the responsibility to follow Christ’s illustration and act as witnesses to those in our lives.

Jesus didn’t only act as a powerful witness by His death, though. One of my personal favorite examples of his consistently perfect testimony is the story of when He awesomely refuted Satan’s temptations.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘’Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’ (Matthew 4:1-4, NIV)

I was at a summer camp last week and every single lesson focused on Jonah and what kind of witness he was. As he fled from Ninevah, Jonah disobeyed God and, as a result, acted as an extremely poor testimony to the sailor dudes on the ship. I mean, if you have to get chucked overboard because your disobedience is causing a freak storm, you might be doing something wrong. The fact that Jonah indirectly affected the sailors through his flight of God’s will really stood out to me. Our “personal” sins can often have an impact on those around us (even though our consequences most likely won’t be as radical as Jonah’s). As I was challenged by these camp messages, several friends and people I know came to mind that I hadn’t particularly acted as a strong witness to.

It’s not enough to be a lukewarm witness. Not only is it insufficient; it’s flat out disobedience.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV)

If we’re apathetic about our testimonies around our friends, we’re failing the task God gave us. In all things we do, we should be looking to Jesus as our role model. And if we aren’t actively following in the footsteps of Christ and acting as witnesses to those around us, we’re disobeying Him.

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