On Wednesday nights I am leading our teens through the Gospel of John. We just started it a few weeks ago and are still in chapter 1. It seems like every time I read through the gospels something new jumps out at me. It’s all been there for 2000 years, but I notice something new every time.
This time through John’s gospel I have noticed how often the words “witness” and “testimony” are used. John the Apostle writes to tell us about the things he has seen (1:14). John the Baptist was sent by God as a witness to testify concerning God’s Chosen One (1:34).
The normal context in which a witness testifies is in court. A witness cannot tell more than they know, but that’s okay. All that is required is that they simply share what they do know. It doesn’t really matter if they know all the thoughts and motives behind the event about which they are testifying. All that matters is what they saw and experienced. Eye witness testimony paired with physical evidence is usually enough to convince a jury that an event occurred as described.
Later in John’s gospel, a blind man healed by Jesus is being questioned as a witness. He tells them, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25).
Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Philip the evangelist had a Spirit-led encounter with the Queen’s Treasurer who was traveling back to Ethiopia. The treasurer was reading from Isaiah. “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35).
What do you know? It’s enough to be a witness.