This week my wife Stacy did our weekly devotional for our church, so I wanted to share it with you:
In Acts 1:6-8 we read: Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What do you think of when you hear the word witness?
I tend to think of a trial in a courtroom. You know: “The defense calls so-and-so as their next witness.”
But a witness is so much more than that. A witness is someone who has heard or seen something that they can then share with others: in order to shine light on the experience and expose a more complete picture.
In his book A GLORIOUS DARK, AJ Swoboda writes: “Being a witness is like finding that little restaurant in the heart of town that nobody else knows about. It’s having your fill and then running around and telling everyone about the meal. Witnessing and eating are so closely related. Witnessing isn’t arguing for the existence of the cute little restaurant; witnesses eat at the restaurant and tell everyone that they have to go for themselves.”
When Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses, I believe He wanted them (and us) to share their personal stories of following, traveling with, and learning from Jesus. He created each one of us and knows that the story we tell is going to differ from that of our best friend or brother or aunt because our experience has been as unique and individual as each of us are.
And Jesus knew that the beautiful picture that emerges—as we each tell our own story about how He changed OUR life—is a more complete representation of Him than if we rely only on a single story or witness.
- The servants at the wedding in Cana were witnesses that Jesus cares about even things that don’t seem spiritual when He turned water into wine as a kindness to the wedding hosts.
- The woman at the well was a witness that Jesus knows everything about us because He told her everything she’d ever done.
- The lepers were witnesses that Jesus loves, touches, and heals people that the rest of the world deems unclean.
- The paralyzed man was a witness that Jesus has not lost sight of or forgotten our prayers—but He acts in His time and in His way.
What is your story? What have you witnessed Jesus do in your own life?
And have you shared it?…Because that’s what witnesses do.