It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time… For one of these must become a witness with us. Acts 1:21-22 (NIV)
A witness is someone who has seen something directly, not secondhand. To qualify to be an apostle, you needed to be a witness to the Lord’s life, death, and resurrection, which is why no one can be an apostle, in the same sense, today.
The Gospel of John is a record of what John and others have seen: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
This emphasis on seeing raises an obvious question: Since we weren’t there and did not see, how can we believe? Where can we find a firm foundation for our faith?
These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).
What John saw he wrote down in his Gospel, so we can examine the evidence. The apostle John wants to present you with evidence, and when he is finished, he’ll be looking for your verdict.
He is absolutely persuaded of his case, but he has determined to set it out in a rational way. He does not try to intimidate us or jerk a few tears. He presents the evidence of what he has seen and heard as a direct witness over the three years he has been with Jesus.
The apostles were not authoritarian preachers, wagging their fingers and shouting, “Believe!” They were witnesses who laid out the evidence of what they had seen and heard, so people could come to a verdict about Jesus. They invite us to “come and see” as we listen to His words and reflect on the evidence of His works.
Have you based your verdict about Jesus on Scripture or on another foundation?