“This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.”
The Witness of the Evangelist
The reason we know about God’s love revealed in Jesus is because people we knew have witnessed to him on his behalf.
-Br. Mark Brown
Today, our theme is the witness of the evangelist … that is, St. John, the beloved disciple, the one who reclined close to Jesus at the Last Supper. And this is the verse from scripture:
“This is the disciple who is testifying to these things, and has written them. And we know that his testimony is true.” And I can’t resist reading one more verse, because it’s the very last verse of the Gospel of John. “But there are also many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that could be written.”
But the point here is the evangelist, St. John, the beloved disciple, was an eyewitness. And we read elsewhere, in the First Letter of John, that (John) heard (Jesus’) voice. He saw him with his eyes. He touched him with his hands, and he was there. And this experience of being in the very presence of Christ changed him, and the experience has compelled him to tell others about him.
And that is the nature of Christian testimony that’s rooted and grounded in personal experience, (the) experience of the first disciples, the apostles, the evangelists. And this testimony passes from person to person, from generation to generation. And the Holy Spirit moves in and through our own testimony or other people’s testimony to their own experience.
But we give testimony not only in our words, but in our actions as well. And the reason we know about God’s love revealed in Jesus is because people we knew have witnessed to him on his behalf. And those people who knew him in the first century witnessed on his behalf and witnessed to the change that was wrought within them through their contact with Jesus Christ.
So our prayer might take a couple of different directions. We might reflect on those individuals in our lives who have been witnesses to the love of God in Christ and give thanks for those particular individuals, like parents or grandparents or friends or teachers, whoever. Or we might reflect on how we ourselves are being a witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ in our lives and through our words and in our actions, as well.