A testimony is a written or spoken statement giving evidence about something. We often talk of witnesses testifying in a court of law about what they have seen.
Jesus’s disciples are called to give testimony about Him. John the Baptist saw and testified that Jesus was God’s Chosen One. (John 1:34) Andrew heard his testimony and believed it. He in turn went to his brother, Simon, and said, “We have found the Messiah.” (John 1:41) Andrew’s testimony brought Simon to Jesus… and the rest, as they say, is history!
John himself gave testimony throughout his life about the ‘word of life’ (1 John 1:1-2). His testimony has all the hallmarks of an eyewitness (“we have seen with our eyes… looked at… we have heard… our hands have touched…” (1 John 1:1))
The role of every Christian is to give testimony about Jesus, to be a witness to all He has done. Acts 1:8 tells us that when the Holy Spirit came, He would give us the power to be witnesses to Jesus wherever we go. The Holy Spirit has come!
A witness simply reports what He has seen. We who follow Christ have seen something of His love, power and actions in our lives. It should be the most natural thing in the world to speak of Jesus. We can say, as Jesus said to those first followers, ‘come and you will see.’ (John 1:39)
Sometimes in court, ‘expert witnesses’ (usually forensic experts or those with a particular knowledge of a relevant subject) are called in. We can be diffident witnesses, feeling that testimony about Jesus is best left to ‘expert witnesses’, professionals whose job it is to speak of Jesus (often known as ‘the clergy’!) The truth is, though, that the ordinary testimony of ordinary people who are filled by the Spirit of God can have extraordinary results. Andrew, Simon, John, Philip and Nathanael were all ordinary peopole who came to faith through other people’s testimonies and who learned firsthand about the ‘domino effect’ of evangelism. Personal testimony and personal evangelism are still the most effective ways to bring people to Jesus. One testimony, one ‘aptly spoken word’, can be all that’s needed to point someone in the direction of Jesus. Let’s testify about Him to all we meet!