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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Day 154: John 1:35-51 & Psalm 150 - How Can We Testify to People About Jesus?

Today's Reading: John 1:35-51 & Psalm 150

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How Can We Testify to People About Jesus?

"The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus." - John 1:35-37, ESV

Today's passage is an inspiring series of personal evangelism examples. Consider what happens in these few short verses:

1. John the Baptizer testifies about Jesus again and gets Andrew and probably John (the Gospel writer himself) to follow Jesus. 

2. Andrew then gets his brother Peter to meet Jesus and begin to follow Him.

3. Jesus invited Philip to follow Him. Philip immediately goes and gets Nathanael to meet and follow Jesus.

In just a short space of time, five key disciples become followers of Jesus, through personal evangelism. What is also striking in this passage are the number of images from Scripture used to describe and explain Jesus and His ministry, as well as the number of powerful testimonies of strong personal faith in Christ. In fact, what we see is that a combination of Scriptural explanation and personal testimony is used to bring people to Jesus.

1. John the Baptizer calls Jesus "the Lamb of God" again, echoing back to the Passover Lamb and so much rich sacrificial imagery. This Scriptural testimony is what prompts Andrew and John to follow Jesus.

2. Andrew tells Peter, "We have found the Messiah." He, too, is using biblical language to explain who Jesus is. It's not, "Come and see this awesome guy who's so terrific" but "We have found the Messiah." Andrew is saying that Jesus is the Anointed One promised in Scripture who has come to redeem God's people.

3. Philip, when he goes to Nathanael, offers the most robust Scripture testimony about Jesus: We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

4. Finally, Jesus Himself uses Scripture to explain Himself to Nathanael: "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" is a reference to Jacob's vision of the ladder stretching from heaven down to earth, which is an image of Jesus. 

We have here a clear pattern for our own witnessing to others of Jesus: Personal testimony informed by Scripture is a powerful tool to bring others to Jesus. Two things are needed for us to be able to offer this kind of testimony: Knowing the Bible well enough to explain Jesus in Scripture terms and knowing Jesus well enough to be able to offer a personal testimony of our knowledge of Him. 

If we know the Bible and we know Jesus, we can offer people what they really need, not our own opinion but the testimony of God to the life found in Jesus alone. May God prepare us and be pleased to use us to bring others to Jesus, just as He used John the Baptizer, Andrew and Philip. 

Prayer Based on Psalm 150:

Praise the Lord!

May You be praised, O God, in Your sanctuary;
    in Your mighty heavens!
May You be praised for Your mighty deeds;
    praised according to Your excellent greatness!

Let us praise You with trumpet sound;
    praise You with lute and harp!
Praise You with tambourine and dance;
    praise You with strings and pipe!
Praise Yoy with sounding cymbals;
    praise You with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise You, Lord!

Praise the Lord!

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