What you looking at?  The Witness of John the Baptist

John 1:19-34

My question today is, what if we consider letting others follow our gaze?  Let them see the focal point of our faith? Our witness can be words of hope and faith we share, but it can also be how we focus on Jesus and allow others to see Jesus as the focal point of our faith.

Faith is not about us.  It is about Jesus.  Our faith is never strong enough.  Our faith is never pure enough or above reproach.  It is the object of our faith—the focal point where the gaze of our hearts is fixed—that is important.  Being humble about what we believe is important!

John’s disciples followed the gaze of John the Baptist as he pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold (look at and consider), the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  They followed John’s gaze and saw Jesus.

John did not push them for a decision.  He did not tell them how lost they were.  He did not tell them ‘I know something you don’t know; I have something you need to make your life complete…” He pointed to Jesus.

He did challenge them to be consistent.  Make your life match your lips.  Make your walk match your talk.  Be kind.  Be generous. Care for the poor.  Care past yourself.  Be content.  Be good.  Turn your life around.  And he visibly and audibly looked to Jesus.

In effect, John challenged his listeners to follow his gaze, and see who Jesus is; consider what Jesus’ purpose in life is about.  Then John let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Not all witnessing needs to be confrontational or filled with apologetics (a word theologians use to talk about doctrinal truth—telling others how wrong they are, etc.).  Sometimes witnessing might be giving others permission to struggle with what they believe and not push them.  Sometimes witnessing might mean accepting that not everyone will immediately (or ever) agree with what we believe.  We shouldn’t be threatened by that.  Maybe we can express our faith out loud and own it personally without being arrogant or pushy.  Sometimes maybe just believing for ourselves and humbly holding on to our convictions and focusing in Jesus is a valid way of witnessing.

Let me know what you think.  I’d be interested in your response.

 

 

 

 

 

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