John 1: 6 — There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
John the Baptizer (known as the Baptist) was sent from God to bear witness of Jesus, but all believers are commissioned to make disciples of Christ (Mt 28:19). That doesn’t mean that we have to wear odd clothes, like John did, or eat his bizarre diet of locusts and honey. It doesn’t even mean we have to travel to faraway places.
For most of us, our mission field is here. In a world where Jesus is shoved into the background and prayer—and anything Christian—is banned from the public forum, the good news about Him gets lost. If we don’t reach out and tell people about our great and loving God, the world will certainly convince them He doesn’t exist. It’s hard enough for people to believe in a God they can’t see, but it’s impossible when they’ve never even heard of Him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? . . . Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:13-15, 17 NIV).
Want to know the effectiveness of witnessing? Let’s jump ahead:
John 1:14 — “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.” (“We” and “us” include John the Beloved, who wrote this gospel, John the Baptizer, and the disciples of John the Baptizer, many of whom became disciples of Christ.)
John 1:29-34 — “John saw Jesus coming toward Him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’ … ‘I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God’” (said John the Baptizer to whomever was crowded by the river to be baptized with water).
John 1:40 — “We have found the Messiah” (Andrew, a former disciple of John the Baptizer, said to his brother, Simon Peter).
John 1:43 — “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (said Philip from Bethsaida, Galilee—assumed friend of Andrew and Peter, who were also from Galilee—to Nathaniel).
John 1:49 — “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (said Nathaniel, who believed, not only because of Philip’s word, but also simply because Jesus saw him standing under a fig tree).
This is in the first chapter of John alone, and it does not include those in the crowds who probably heard and believed.
Notice that the phrases “Lamb of God,” “Son of God,” “Messiah,” and “Him of whom Moses wrote” did not need clarification. Jews of the era had known He was coming for centuries. Through custom, law, and tradition, they all knew to expect the Messiah, from the Pharisees, who rejected Him, to the least of the fishermen of Galilee. That attests not only to the power of witness, but to the power of staying in the Scriptures. Those who did not study Scripture “did not know Him”—the topic of Day 5’s study.
The next time Jesus comes, it will not be as a slain lamb, but as a valiant king prepared to rule with a rod of iron. Between now and then, it is our responsibility to bring as many as we can to Christ.
While there is still time, we must redeem that time, bringing family and friends—and anyone else who will hear our words—to the cross.