When Jesus was born, the world was turned upside-down. What was once a hopeless cause became a reason to rejoice.
Throughout Jesus’ life, we witness Him faithfully consulting God the Father for His will. Jesus longed to do the work of the Father and not His own work.
Jesus lived in complete submission to God. He was perfect in every way, even when the children incessantly asked Him questions and legalistic brats questioned His every move.
In John 4, we find Jesus wearied from His travels sitting at Jacob’s well. A woman of Samaria comes to the well in the middle of the day to draw water and He asks her for a drink.
Of course she is confused because she knows Him to be a Jew and she a Samaritan. They aren’t supposed to speak to one another.
Yet Jesus brings the Gospel of salvation to her and says,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13).
Jesus reveals Himself to this woman as the Messiah. She left her water jug at the well and went into her town to tell of this Messiah! She tells her people to come and see!
While she’s away bearing witness to Jesus, He’s back at the well teaching His disciples about what it means to live a life submitting to God’s will and not His own.
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then come the harvest’? Look, I tell you lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:31-38).
The woman of Samaria returns with many of her people to the well where Jesus still sits. They came because of the woman’s testimony – a woman with a terrible reputation for her sins. She bore witness to this Jesus who told her “all that she ever did.”
It should be noted that her testimony did not save them, but her testimony bore witness to Jesus and they in turn sought Him for themselves. They came to Jesus and asked Him to stay with them. He did. For two days.
Afterward, they said, we believed what she said, but we believe now for ourselves (John 4:41-42).
If we continue reading in John 5, we learn that Jesus is equal with God (John 5:18), and He has authority from the Father to forgive sins (John 5:19-29).
And then, the real kicker. This statement completely rocked me the first time I read it with new eyes.
“I can do nothing of my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true” (John 5:30).
Jesus says His testimony alone doesn’t make what He says true. He says that John bears witness to Him.
“But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works I am doing, bear witness about me” (John 5:36).
Then, not only does John bear witness to what Jesus says, but Jesus’ works bear witness that His testimony is true.
Now the Holy Spirit bears witness to Jesus.
Do you see? Are tracking with me here?
It is this Holy Spirit that dwells in us as believers. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us.
Growing up, I heard the words, “Be a witness for Jesus” or “I’m going out witnessing” or “I witnessed to John Adams at work today.”
To witness. Be a witness. I heard it often, especially growing up in the Bible belt.
What the heck does that mean? Is that one of the things on the checklist of being a Christian that I have to do? It all seemed so stiff and quite frankly it freaked me out a little.
To be honest, I’ve shied away from the term for years. However, when I read these passages of scripture and poured over them for days on end, the veil was lifted for me.
Though Jesus’ witness alone is sufficient (He is God of the universe!), He leaves no doubt. He doesn’t expect us to just take His word for it. And it’s not enough that His works bear witness to His truthfulness.
He asks for witnesses. Our witness.
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8).
What we do matters. What we say matters.
The woman at the well left her jug, she dropped everything she was doing to go and tell her people of the Messiah. John the Baptist’s entire life was dedicated to preparing the way for Jesus – to bearing witness to the Messiah.
What are you doing today that bears witness to Jesus as Messiah, the Savior of the world? Do your actions speak to the truthfulness of God’s Word? Are you living as though His Word is true?
If you have been transformed by the truth of the Gospel, bearing witness to Him who saved you is your command.
Take some time today to pray that the truth of Jesus would turn your focus, priorities, and affections from worldly things to building up the kingdom of God in you.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
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