Devotion for the Week...
Since we moved into our house Paul has been learning a lot of new skills. He has hung drywall, plastered said drywall, painted, rewired the doorbell and changed light switch and outlet boxes. My contributions have been minimal, usually holding things in place as needed. When he started dealing with wiring he needed to turn off the power to certain parts of the house, which meant switching off the right breaker in the breaker box. Unfortunately, the breakers were not labelled. So, my job would be to stand in the room he needed to work in while he went down to the basement and starting switching breakers off and then on again, one by one. When I saw the light turn off, I'd yell out so he could hear me and he'd leave that breaker off, labeling it for future reference. Then he could do the work he needed to do.
I thought of this last week as I read about John the Baptist. John, the gospel writer, said "There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light" (John 1:6-8).
A witness to the light. That was the phrase that made me think of the times I've stood in a room ready to yell out to Paul when he turned off the right breaker and the light went out. Paul needed me to be a witness because he couldn't see the kitchen light from the basement. The people of Jesus' day needed John the Baptist because they were expecting a king, someone living in a palace with servants and royal robes. Though Jesus stood right in front of them, they couldn't truly see Him because He wasn't what they expected. John came to tell the world, to prepare people's hearts to welcome Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ they had been waiting centuries to see.
After His resurrection, but before being taken up to Heaven, Jesus told His disciples, "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” (Acts 1:8). Though He spoke to his disciples who were physically with Him at that moment, this applies to all of us who are His disciples today too. We are His witnesses to our families, our communities and our world.
Most of us get nervous about being a witness for Jesus. We think we don't have the right words, or the right stories, or we don't like to speak in public, or any of a number of other problems. But a witness doesn't require any special training. Dictionary.com defines 'witness' as "an individual who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing; a beholder, spectator, or eyewitness." In other words, anyone who sees something happen. You are a witness to whatever God has done in your life.
A lot of people in this world can't see Jesus. They don't realize He's alive, or that He offers salvation to anyone who believes. They need us to be witnesses, to tell them what we see and know of God. Hopefully then, through believing what we have told them, they will be able to see and know Jesus for themselves.