“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The verse of the day comes from the account of the ascension of Jesus. Before Jesus was taken up to heaven, Jesus tells the gathered disciples that the Holy Spirit will enable the disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Within a generation the disciples would bear witness to the risen Christ in all the known world.
“You will be my witnesses…”
What does it mean to be a witness?
There are several requirements for being a witness.
First, you have to have experienced, seen, tasted whatever it is you are bearing witness to. If you were not present, if you didn’t see, experience and you testified anyway, your testimony would be a lie. The first requirement for being a witness is that you had to be present for whatever it is you are bearing witness to. You have to have had a personal experience in seeing and experiencing for yourself.
This is why God invites us to “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).
Isn’t that great? Before God allows us to talk about how amazing and wonderful he is, he requires that we first experience God’s amazing grace and power. Love that!
Second, you have to testify. You have to speak. You can’t be a witness without bearing testimony. You have to share Christ. You have to talk about Christ. You have to talk about how amazing God is.
If you were a witness to a crime. You have to speak. You have to bear witness. You owe it to the victims, to justice, to truth. It would be a crime to keep silent.
Finally, the reality of having experienced God is so transformative that it is impossible to stay the same. Experiencing God changes us. What we experience of God is so awesome, so amazing that even in the face of opposition and persecution, you bear witness to God’s reality. No amount of opposition or persecution can ever change the reality that God is awesome, his love so amazing.
The Greek word for “witness” is martus. The Greek “u” is equivalent to the English “y”. Martus is where we get the English word, martyr.
The truth of what we experience with God changes us. It changes our entire world. So much so, no matter the opposition and persecution, you bear witness that God is God, and that God is great. And many have borne witness to God’s reality to their martyrdom. The early Christian witnesses and martyrs declared to the Roman Empire, “You can kill me. But that still doesn’t change the fact that Jesus is Lord.”
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”