Thursday, October 22, 2015
Considering testimonies about the eternal Christ - John 1:7-8; 1:15-17
John 1:7-8 "There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light,so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light."
Yesterday we considered the Eternal Christ that is One Person who is Truly God and Truly man. Today we will read some testimonies about Him. There is a major impact that results when the truths of scripture are wedded to human experience. John 1:1-18 delivers to us truth about Jesus Christ that is by all accounts other-worldly. However, the fact that John the Apostle – the author of the Gospel of John – walked and talked with incarnate Deity counts as a testimony that brings things down into our own lives. Elsewhere the apostle John writes in 1 John 1:1-3 “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Now the apostle John testifies as to how the Eternal Christ transforms and changes lives in John 1:10-13. We will take a closer look at what he says in those verses later on in this message. For now, just remember we have the words of an eyewitness of the Incarnate God – Jesus Christ – with Whom the apostle walked, talked, developed the closest of friendship and Whose mother according to the flesh he was charged to care for by Jesus at the cross (see John 19:26).
There is a second testimony from another John – namely John the Baptist – that is recorded twice in this stretch of John 1:1-18. The first segment of John the Baptist’s testimony is recorded in John 1:6-8. Then the Apostle John gives a second installment of John the Baptist’s testimony in John 1:15-17 “John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
Now these two testimonies are powerful in that the Apostle John would had known John the Baptist personally – being that he had been a disciple of John the Baptist and would had been present the day John the Baptist first met Jesus (see John 1:35-39). John the Baptist had occasion to baptize Jesus and witness the Spirit’s descent upon Him in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). Moreover, John the Baptist was related to Jesus in His humanity by virtue of the fact that both their mothers were related (Luke 1:36). The eyewitness stature of both Johns makes these testimonies ironclad in demonstrating the reality of the Eternal Christ revealed in John 1:1-18.
But now let’s expand the circle of testimonies to include the untold numbers of Christians that have been changed and transformed by this Eternal Christ. Each of the Disciples walked with Him and saw him in His post-resurrected appearances to them (see Matthew 28; Acts 1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10). The Apostle Paul was encountered by the risen God/man in Acts 9 and testifies of such again and again in Acts 22; Acts 26 and Galatians 1.
What about you reading this message today? Can you testify of having heard the voice of the risen and exalted God/man – the Eternal Christ of Whom we are emphasizing today? Many skeptics can deny the truth and contents of the Christian faith all they want – however they cannot dismiss out of hand the testimonies of countless millions who claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Dr. William Lane Craig, a noted defender of the Christian faith says about the value of personal testimonies: “A good testimony gives glory to God and points the listener to Christ, whom it lifts up instead of self. I find that sharing my personal testimony of faith with others, along with sharing the message of the Gospel and evidence for its truth, is a powerful witness to Christ’s reality and makes the Gospel very attractive for people who are searching today.”