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Witnesses to Jesus

Gospel Reading: Jn 5:33-36
Jesus said to the Jews, “You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.”

HE WAS A BURNING AND SHINING LAMP
We know John the Baptist more as the precursor of Jesus. He prepares for the Messiah’s coming. We know little about him as a burning and shining lamp. In the Gospel, it is Jesus who declares this. What does he mean? As a burning and shining lamp, John testifies or bears witness (martyreo) to Jesus. When Jesus appears on the scene, John declares, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). Jesus acknowledges John’s high quality performance. His testimony is not mediocre, like that of a flickering lamp. Of prime importance in the passage is testimony (martyria). John testifies to the truth. The truth is Jesus. But Jesus really needs no testimony from human beings, even from John. Enough is Jesus’ testimony that is much greater than John’s. The works given him by the Father that he accomplishes speak for him. Jesus proves himself to be the Son of God by the signs (miracles) he performs that nobody else can do. Once he is introduced to the people prepared by John, Jesus calls his Apostles and then performs a miracle at Cana, the first of his seven signs in Jn 1–12.

Like John, we Christians are called to give testimony to Christ. We are to make him known to other people. Are you a shining and outstanding witness of Christ?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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