John testified about Him
John 1:1-28 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
In our present culture and society it seems that a person’s character can be maliciously destroyed by the accusations of a single person, without any basis in fact. In Deuteronomy 19:15 it says: “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.” So, as in all things, the Biblical standard; God’s standard is higher than man’s standard. In the same way that negative things should be confirmed by more than one witness, so should we consider more than the testimony of a person’s own integrity or identity. In today’s text it begins saying: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. Verse 14 says: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Some would argue then that Jesus cannot testify about Himself and neither can the word testify about Him because Jesus is the word made flesh. Since they are one, there needs to be more witnesses. In today’s text it says: There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. So now then, there is agreement between Jesus Himself, the word and John’s testimony.
Still there is more. In John 5:31-47 Jesus says: “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” So, to establish Jesus identity, we have His testimony, the testimony of the word, the testimony of John, the testimony of His works and the testimony of God Himself. Still, many who will believe the uncredible testimonies of the world today, will not believe the incredible testimonies of Christ.
What is my point in this? Is it that I would hope to convince those who do not believe? Certainly that would be a great outcome, but that is the job of the Holy Spirit. I know that my words will convince no one. What then is my purpose? It is to remind and exhort those who do believe. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” We too then are called to be witnesses and testify of Christ. To be an effective witness, our testimony must agree with the other witnesses. In Matthew 5:19-20 Jesus says: “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Not only what we say, but also what we do is part of our witness for Christ. Our lives then should reflect the kind of life Jesus lived; filled with love, compassion, mercy and grace. Our living testimony should also include righteousness. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” How can we expect people to know Jesus by our testimony, if what we do causes us to not be known by Him? How will people be drawn to Him by the very things that cause Him to say depart from Me?
Jesus says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” In Luke 12:12, Jesus gives us instruction and advice about how we should testify. He says: “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Our witness, our testimony of Christ, all that we say and all that we do, should be empowered by; guided and taught by the Holy Spirit. Again, to be an effective witness, our testimony must collaborate, not contradict other testimony. Only if we will yield to, abide by and in the Holy Spirit of God, will our testimony agree with the word, the Father and with Jesus. It will agree with and collaborate the Holy Spirit led and inspired testimonies of John and the apostles. Only then might others see and know Christ by our witness.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; I yield to You. Guide me and teach me what to say and how to live. Empower me to be a witness for Christ, agreeing with You, in all that I say and do. Amen.