Monday, August 1, 2011

You Are an Eyewitness!

An eyewitness is someone who has first-hand knowledge of a dramatic event through seeing or experiencing it themselves. 

In 2 Peter 1:16, the Apostle Peter is writing to the scattered believers throughout Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) to warn them about false teachers that had infiltrated the Christian community.  So he wants to remind them of the truth in which they first believed by saying "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." 

The Apostle Peter and the other Apostles were not only eyewitnesses of miracles Jesus peformed:  the calming of the sea, the feeding of the 5,000, the Transfiguration, the restoring of sight to the man blind from birth, not to mention, the raising of Lazarus from the dead!  But the ultimate miracle of all was The Resurrection of Jesus Christ himself!!  I mean you can't top that!!  Can you imagine telling someone, my friend died, I went to the funeral to pay my last respects, but three days later, my friend rose from the dead!!  His body was no longer in the tomb where we buried it!  I actually had breakfast with Him on the beach!! 

Phenomenal right?  Well, not only did Peter experience all of that first-hand, he had his own testimony.  He was an eyewitness to what Jesus Christ had done in his own life!!  Remember brash young Peter, making loud declaration that he would never forsake the Lord Jesus Christ.  How confident and sure of himself he was?  Jesus, knowing the hearts of men as He did, told Peter, "I tell you the truth, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."  (Matt. 26:34)  Then he was put to the test!  Jesus was betrayed by Judas (not by Peter, although you could say his betrayal had just as much impact) and handed over to be judged and crucified.  And the words that Jesus spoke came back to Peter in an excruciatingly painful moment, and he wept bitterly at his failure. (Matt. 27:69-75)  Although I'm sure it seemed like this was the end of the world for Peter, it was not the end of his story - not by a long shot!

When Jesus miraculously returns to them in His glory, He does the most wonderful thing!  "...Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord" he said, "you know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."  Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"  He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."  The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?"  He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."  Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."  Finally, Jesus says to Simon Peter, "Follow Me!" 

What a wonderful restoration!!  Jesus fully restores Peter to the ministry, giving him instructions to feed the lambs (new converts), to guard and care for the flock (discipleship) and feed (bring to maturity) the sheep.  How was Peter supposed to do it?  Jesus said, "follow me."   This is Peter's testimony of the grace, forgiveness and reconciliation to be found in Jesus Christ!  

The role and purpose of an eyewitness is to give an account of the things he/she has seen, heard and experienced first hand.

You too, are eyewitnesses to what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in your own life!  Do remember all the things He's done for you?  How he forgave and forgives your sins, heals all your diseases, redeemed your life from destruction, crowns you with love and compassion, satisfies your desires with good things, and renews your strength like the eagle's?  He has done marvelous things in your life and you are equipped to give an eyewitness account to others!  Your testimony is a powerful tool in the ministry of reconciliation!  We help others to overcome by the "word of our testimony!"  So use it!  "Go!  Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and lo, I will be with you even until the end of the age."  (Matt. 28:18)

What is your testimony?  Share your brief testimony by commenting on this segment!

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