Acts 5:32-33 “We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.’ When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them.”
John 1:6-9 (NRSV) “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” Here we see John shifting from a prophetic, declarative, preaching tone [in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God] to a narrative tone. Immediately after he said, “the light shines in darkness and the darkness can never overcome it”, he switches to, “there was a man named John”. He introduces a John that is not himself, John the Baptist. Jesus and John the son of Salome were cousins.
Jn.1:7 “He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” (NRSV, emphasis added). The root word for witness in the Greek is Martyrion and this word means witness and martyr. Every true witness is a potential martyr. The truth is that every one that is a real follower of Jesus is a potential martyr, a martyr waiting to happen. If you really are a follower of Jesus, you are a potential martyr. A martyr is someone that dies for his or her witness. If you are claiming to be a follower of Jesus but refusing to be a martyr, then check if you are really a follower of Jesus. Every follower of Jesus is a potential martyr. Jesus was speaking to the disciples in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses [the one that speaks and is ready to die for what they are saying] in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NRSV, emphasis added). Peter denied Jesus three times in one night. Even though Peter was following Jesus, he was not a witness. The dispensation of grace which the death and the resurrection of Jesus brought us into had not happened. Peter, in a nutshell, had not received the Holy Spirit.
So, Peter could not stand when he was challenged [please read John 18:15-18, 25 -27]. Peter moved from being an untrue witness to a true witness because of the Holy Spirit. You become a true witness when you are one with the message – inseparable. You become a true witness when to accept you is to accept your words, to stop you is to stop your words, and to stop your words is to stop you. You become a true witness when like the Apostles said, ‘We cannot but talk about Jesus’ [Acts 5:29-33 paraphrased]. If they had to stop them, they had to take their lives because they were witnesses. People cannot even part with cars for Jesus today. People cannot part with property, cars, houses, or real estate for Jesus today. ‘Lord I give you my heart, I give my soul…’, Jesus says, ‘Give me that trinket’, ‘No, I live for You alone.’ Who are you deceiving? A true witness is one that speaks and is ready to die for his or her witness.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I ask that You come upon me afresh and fill me with the power to be a true witness for Christ Jesus, in Jesus Name. Amen!