September 06, 2005

Compelling Witnesses

1 John 1:1-4

27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" 28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something." 32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." 33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" 34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." Many Samaritans Believe 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."


That which ... we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes ... --this we proclaim ... 1 John 1:1

Have you ever been called to testify as a witness to an accident? Being a witness simply means telling your story, describing what you saw happening. Why is it that many of us as Christians get cold feet when we hear that we are being called to "witness"?

For some people, witnessing means marketing God--as if God were the latest digital camera or houseware item you shouldn't be without. They view witnessing in a way like doing door-to-door sales, and some methods of witnessing even involve going door-to-door trying to convince strangers that they need God. This is the reputation witnessing has for many people in the church. It's often the picture many people outside the church have of Christians as well.

The apostle John demonstrates that the role of a witness is simply to tell others that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Witnesses are people who can tell about their own personal experience of God's transforming power in their lives. Most people really are interested in hearing personal stories that are real. The Christian message became real in the person of Jesus. His followers heard him and could see him and touch him. That message is still real in the lives of his followers today. As a witness, your walk and talk with the Jesus who changed your life needs to rub off on the people around you.

Jesus, I don't want to just tell stories about you. I want to know you personally and tell others about that. Fill my life, Lord, with your Word and life-changing power. Amen.

About the author — Martin Contant

Martin Contant serves Christian Reformed Home Missions as a regional leader in western Canada. Together with a regional ministry team he works with churches and leaders focusing on church planting, church revitalization, campus ministry, and leadership development. Martin and his wife, Sue, live in Surrey, British Columbia. They have three adult, married children and two grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!