A Faithful Witness
Have you ever been asked to recount an event which you have observed? Perhaps you have been called on to testify at a trial. In either case there is an expectation that you will truthfully describe the events that you have witnessed. “A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.” (Proverbs 14:5 NKJV) The Mosaic law forbade false witness. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 NKJV) This was especially important to be sure justice was served in a case resulting in capital punishment. “Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty.” (Numbers 35:30 NKJV) “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.” (Exodus 23:2 NKJV)
Faithful representation of truth is just as important as faithful representation of the evil that we observe. Truth arrived in the form of the Messiah. It was John the Baptist’s purpose to bear witness. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.” (John 1:6-7 NKJV) “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:15-17 NKJV)
God, The Father, also provided witness. “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish–the very works that I do–bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” (John 5:36-37 NKJV) The Jews turned a deaf ear to the testimony of John and to the testimony of God. Jesus’ ultimate purpose was to bear witness of the truth. “Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”” (John 18:37 NKJV)
Following Jesus’ ascension, the apostles were to carry on this great work. “And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. “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 1:7-8 NKJV) Saul of Tarsus was converted and sent out as the apostle Paul for the same purpose. “Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.’” (Acts 22:14-15 NKJV) Paul passed on that charge. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV) We also are called to this purpose having received the truth through a progression of witnesses.
What do we do now? “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 NKJV) We keep running the race. Be a faithful witness.