John 1:6-7 “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.” (NRSV, emphasis added)
The story is told about a young man who told his Pastor that he had consecrated his life to Jesus. The Pastor looked at him intently and said, “We are going for evangelism tomorrow and we will need your car tomorrow morning.” The man became very sad and when the Pastor asked why, he said, “How will I drop my children in school tomorrow? I also need to drop my wife at her office in the morning. I am sorry but I will not be able to meet up with that request” and he left. The Pastor laughed and called the man back and told him there was no evangelism. He just needed the young man to understand that being a witness comes with responsibilities.
Being a Christian is not a tag or a label, it is your life. The question is, do you really want to follow Jesus? If you really want to follow Jesus, if He says, ‘Give me your shoes’, what will happen to those shoes? Were they yours initially? Do not be sober. The truth is that you cannot mouth being a Christian and when God demands for your time, you are unable to give it. Your time is your life. You cannot mouth being a Christian and God places a demand on a behaviour, but you refuse to make the necessary adjustments. Imagine someone is very abusive and God says, ‘Now that you are mine, you need to stop abusing people.’ Then you say, ‘I cannot let it go; my grandmother was abusive, my mother was abusive, why should I stop?’ Being a witness means we cannot separate you from the message; you and the message are fused. To silence the message is to silence you.
John came as a witness; which is why Jesus says, if you want to do anything, count the cost. If you want to follow Jesus, count the cost. I know there are lots of preaching out there that are all based on materialism and commercialization. But the truth is this, if you want to follow Jesus, you count the cost. John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus, preparing the way for Jesus. But John did not only prepare the way for Jesus, he also stirred up trouble for Jesus. The ruling body had set up an investigation on John the Baptist. Herod eventually killed him. As a forerunner of Jesus, we see John’s first denial in John 1:8 “John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.” John is not the light; he says he is not the Christ, he is not the Prophet, he is not the Messiah.
Yet there is a sect that is still worshiping John as the Messiah, they are called Mandaeans. People will worship anything really. The man himself said, “I am not the Messiah”. John the Baptist was not the light but merely a testimony of the light. John 1:9 “The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” It becomes clearer when we read John 1:15 (NRSV) “(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)” Also read John 1:19-28.
Prayer: Father, I ask for the grace to be a true witness for Jesus Christ, in Jesus Name. Amen!