(10.) On Christ as the Faithful Witness

(10.) On Christ as the Faithful Witness

(10.) On Christ as the Faithful Witness.

“May the kindness of God’s grace and peace overflow to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the sevenfold Spirit who is in front of His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from among the dead, and the ruling King, who rules over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 1:5, TPT).

We all know how important honesty and accuracy is. Our legal system depends on witnesses who are committed to the truth. Our relationships depend on the truth as well. Friends learn to trust each other to be truthful. Being deceitful undermines everything. The fact that “bearing false witness” was included in the Ten Commandments reveals the importance of faithful and true witnesses. In order to trust Jesus, we have to depend on the fact that everything He said is true. We have to trust His testimony about the Father, the world, sin and salvation. As a faithful witness, Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 55:4, “Behold, I have appointed Him for a witness, one who shall testify of salvation to the nations.” (AMP). This witness, Christ, sums up the truth of God’s revelation, and speaks the truth faithfully in His testimony.

Christ is a faithful witness to the Father. The Son was transparent when it came to His relationship with the Father. He spoke candidly and openly, testified to His dependence on and loyalty to the Father. In the Gospel of John alone, He faithfully revealed His divine intimacy with the Father. Jesus said that:

  1. The Son has faithfully revealed the Father and has made Him known (1:18);
  2. The Son has come in the Father’s Name (5:43);
  3. The Son’s teaching came straight from the Father (7:16);
  4. The Son does not speak on His own initiative (7:18);
  5. The Son repeats exactly what the Father has taught Him (8:28);
  6. The Son’s words are the Father’s words (14:24);
  7. The Son will do whatever the Father requires of Him (14:31);
  8. When you know the Son, you know the Father (14:7);
  9. When you see the Son, you have seen the Father (14:7);
  10. The Son has loved the disciples the way that the Father has loved the Son (15:9);
  11. The Son has faithfully obeyed the Father’s commands (15:10);
  12. Everything the Son has heard from Father has been told to the disciples by the Son (15:15);
  13. The Son brought glory to the Father on earth by completing the work He was sent to do (17:4);
  14. The Father and the Son shared glory before the world began (17:4);
  15. All who belong to the Son belong to the Father (17:10);
  16. The Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son; they are inside each other (17:21);
  17. Only the Son truly knows the Father (17:25).

The Son loved to testify about the Father. He was a truthful and faithful witness to the Father. The Father was Christ’s North Star. It was how He navigated through His life and ministry. As a witness, Jesus would often probe the profound intimacy between Father and Son, thinking out loud with His disciples. Jesus would comment often about their spiritual union, their boundless Spirit of love. After hearing Jesus speak, His audience couldn’t help but walk away with the impression that there is nothing in the universe as tightly woven together as the Father and the Son. The Father literally couldn’t have found a more faithful witness to Him.

Christ was a faithful witness to the truth. “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37). Jesus came to earth to point to the truth, to highlight the truth, to prove what truth really is. When Pilate asked Jesus that famous question, ‘What is truth?‘ he didn’t realize he was staring truth in the face. Pilate was literally talking with Truth in the flesh. Jesus testified to the truth by revealing Himself, the Author of truth. He claimed that truth is a Person, Himself, not merely some abstract idea or principle. Truth represents reality, and Jesus embodies the true essential reality of God. Truth is the revelation of established fact, and Jesus testified to the indisputable fact of God’s loving existence in the world. Truth is not tainted by error or falsehood, so neither was Christ. Truth and Jesus are indivisible. Deceit is simply outside His nature and character. So when He taught, He testified to divine truth. When He healed, He bore witness to the truth of God’s zeal for wholeness in broken people. Jesus bore witness to the truth, because as He said, “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6).

Christ was a faithful witness to sacrifice. The Greek word for “witness” translates to the English word for “martyr.” In this sense, Jesus was a true witness. He testified to the importance of submitting to the Father’s will. He fleshed out the truth through His actions. He verified His witness by giving up His life. Jesus was a martyr to the truth of God’s love. The Passion of Christ was a long, bloody witness to the eternal importance of God’s salvation plan for humanity. Jesus’ willingness to be tortured to death witnessed to His love and trust in the Father. “Not my will, but thine.” In the midst of Jesus’ profound nighttime chat with Nicodemus, He told him… ‘Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God? In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up – and everyone who looks up to Him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.” (John 3:10-15, MSG). Jesus bore witness to Nicodemus of the Lord’s coming martyrdom on the Cross. Jesus testified to God’s plan of redemption through His death. Jesus was a faithful witness to the Father, to the truth of God’s will, and to the need for self-sacrifice.

“A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.”  (Proverbs 14:5).