We are His Witnesses
“… and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
So said Jesus to his followers right before he ascended into heaven. He instructed us to be witnesses which raises a huge question: what have we witnessed?
This was easy for the people Jesus was talking to at that time. He had been with them for the last three years, teaching them and performing miracles. He had just risen from the dead and they had witnessed it. For them to tell others he is the Messiah and God’s answer to the sin problem was based on personal experience.
We, however, are about 2000 years removed from those events, and though God “is the same yesterday, today and forever” our experience as witnesses is distinctly different. If someone asks you why you believe in Jesus, what would you say? What would be your witness statement?
Being a Witness is Personal
Now, you might be tempted to say that you believe “because the Bible tells me so,” but that is not being a witness to something. Being a witness is having seen or experienced something in real life. Things that you read, no matter how true, are not things that you witness.
Being a witness is a very personal thing. Even if others experienced the same thing, how you lived it is unique to you. When you share it with someone else, you will do so from your perspective. This is why the gospels are different. Matthew and John were both there, and yet they witnessed the same events somewhat differently and chose to emphasize different parts of what they saw. Personal testimony can still bring about extreme impact. The world is different today because of the eyewitness accounts of those who walked with Jesus.
A Tangible Experience
So, we are back to our initial question. How have we witnessed Jesus?
One answer to that question is, “we have seen Jesus at work in us and in the lives of those around us.” Prayer is answered. Lives are changed. Love replaces hate. Joy exists in suffering. The impossible happens. God is at work every day and in every place. We only must open our eyes to see it, to experience it.
Once we have witnessed God in the real, we must share it. We are commissioned to do so by Jesus himself. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, be a living witness to the saving grace of Jesus to the community around you.