Jesus Christ . . . is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Witnesses play an important role in our legal system. They verify the details of an event as they see it. Their testimony has the power to convince a jury to convict or acquit. In our passage today John calls Jesus "the faithful witness."
As God's faithful witness, Jesus reveals his relationship to the Father. He also bears witness to the Father's plan to save all who believe in him as Lord and Savior. In addition, he testifies about what it means to live in righteous submission to the Father's will.
But Jesus' witness doesn't end with explaining God's truth. The Greek word for "witness" is martys, the root of our English word "martyr." Jesus has not only testified about God's truth; he has verified his verbal witness by giving his life—for us.
Jesus is the witness par excellence. John uses the term "faithful witness" here to remind his first readers, who were experiencing doubt in the midst of persecution for their faith, that Jesus is the faithful witness in speaking truth and in giving his life.
As Jesus' followers, we too are called to be his witnesses, both with our words and with our lives.
Following the example of Jesus, how will you be a faithful witness today in speaking and living out God's truth?
Jesus, you are the faithful witness of God’s truth, both in your words and in the gift of your life. Help us also to be your faithful witnesses today with our words and our lives. In your name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!