Thursday, April 18, 2024

You’ve Been Summoned

A couple of years ago I had the honor of serving on a jury. It was by no means a noteworthy trial but it was important to the people involved. I felt a great deal of responsibility as the jury deliberated and eventually arrived at a verdict. We all wanted to make the right, fair and just decision and I believe we did. To make that decision we relied on the evidence presented to us by the witnesses. That’s what witnesses do. They help people arrive at a decision.

That word “witness” is used several times in the New Testament to describe the evangelistic work of the early believers. Jesus actually uses that very term as he commissions his disciples to spread the word about him. After his resurrection he flat out told the believers, “You are my witnesses.” It was their lives and their words that Jesus was counting on to convince other people that he is the Son of God and that eternal life is available through Him.

As they were witnesses for Jesus, we too serve the same function. Every believer in a sense has been called to the witness stand. It is our lives and our words that Jesus is counting on to convince those around us that Jesus is who he says he is. So, are you a convincing witness?

The witnesses who were most convincing to me had these qualities – they were confident and they were clear. When they told their recollection of the event in question they didn’t waver on their account. They presented their testimony with certainty and conviction. They also presented it clearly; in a way I could understand. There was no need for technical or complex jargon to help me understand the events.

I’m thinking that if we want to be convincing witnesses for Jesus, perhaps we need to display those same qualities – confidence and clarity.  If we expect others to believe that Jesus is the Son of God then we need to firmly believe ourselves and act like it.

Are we confident and are we clear?

Do people see in you and me a strong conviction that we believe? Do our lives demonstrate a sense of joy knowing we are saved? Do those around us see how much our lives have been changed for the better because we know Jesus? Do people see us living a life of faithful obedience?

Or are we sending confusing and mixed messages by claiming to believe but not really acting like it? Do we remain silent about our faith rather than speak up? Do we waver in our commitment consequently compromising our testimony?

What kind of witness am I? What kind of witness are you?

As a believer, we have been summoned. We are all witnesses and the world around us is the jury. May we be faithful and convincing. Let’s do all we can to help people arrive at the decision that Jesus is Lord.