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Faithful Witness

Our lives should faithfully "bear witness" to the truth of Jesus Christ through our thoughts, our actions, our attitudes, and our words.

In a courtroom, a witness is someone who tells about what they have seen and heard. When a witness speaks, it’s called testifying. In courtroom dramas, lawyers sometimes clarify or challenge a witness with this question: “Is it your testimony that (fill in the blank)?”

The judge, jury, victims, and defendants count on witnesses to be clear, consistent, and truthful. Everything depends on it.

In God’s Kingdom, everything does not depend on us. Rather, everything depends on our one true all-powerful God.

But we do have a role to play. We are called to be faithful and active members of God’s family and Kingdom. One way we do that is by being a faithful witness. Faithful​ means that we are true, reliable, obedient, and loyal to Jesus and his truth. Witness​ means we tell the story of what we’ve seen, heard, and experienced. That includes the story of how we first met and started following Jesus. But it includes so much more than that, things like what God is teaching us, what we're learning about following Jesus, how God is meeting us in our struggles, how God is bringing joy to us, and more.

Remember, Jesus himself was the ultimate faithful witness to the truth of God’s love and power. When we are faithful witnesses, we are imitating Jesus and becoming more like him.

Warm-Up

Begin with a conversation starter,​ then use some of these warm-up questions.

  • How would you describe a courtroom “witness”? Why are they important?
  • Why do you think some important documents (marriage license, will, court documents) require signatures from witnesses?
  • On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best, what are three to five things that would make someone a “10” witness? What things would make someone a “1” witness?
  • Sometimes two people at the same event might describe it differently after the fact. Why does that happen? Can they both be faithful witnesses? Why do you think that?
  • Have you ever had to officially “bear witness” to something that happened — maybe to a teacher, a principal, a boss, a school patrol, or a parent? What was that like?

Reaad & Reflect

Use one or more of these passages to see what Scripture says about being a faithful witness. You can also engage with the passage by copying out part of it, rewriting it as a prayer, rephrasing it as its opposite, summarizing it with a single word or phrase, making a list or chart of similar and dissimilar things, or turning it into something visual like a doodle, design, or flowchart.

Jesus' Example

Read any story about Jesus since his entire life was a faithful witness to his Father and to truth. Then talk about these questions.

  • Jesus is fully divine himself, yet distinct from his Father. How are Jesus’ actions and words a faithful witness to his Father’s identity and his own identity?
  • Pay attention to what Jesus says and how he says it. How is Jesus’ spoken faithful witness an example for us?
  • What are different ways Jesus could have verbally responded or interacted in this passage? Why do you think he chose the words he did?

Positive Example

Read John 4:1-42 (Jesus and the Samaritan woman).

  • What seems important about the way Jesus spoke to the woman?
  • What do you notice about the way the woman responded to Jesus?
  • How are Jesus’ words a faithful witness to the truth of God?
  • How are the woman’s words and actions a faithful witness to Jesus?
  • How do you think you would have responded if you were the woman?
  • Have you ever “faithfully witnessed” like this woman did? Talk about that.

Positive Example 1

Read Matthew 28:1-19, Luke 24:1-12 or John 20:1-18 (women testify about Jesus' resurrection). By the way, women were not considered reliable witnesses in the ancient world.

  • Why do you think God chose women to be the first faithful witnesses about Jesus’ resurrection?
  • What do you think Mary and the other women felt, thought, and experienced?
  • 2000 years later, are there ways you can be a faithful witness to Jesus’ resurrection? How?

Positive Example 2

Read John 19:38-42 (Nicodemus helps bury Jesus).

  • In John 3, Nicodemus talked to Jesus at night so no one would see him. Compare that to his actions in this story. How had Nic changed? How are his actions in John 19 a faithful witness to Jesus?

Positive Example 3

Read John 9:1-41 (Jesus heals a blind man).

  • Talk about the blind man’s different responses throughout this story depending on what he was asked and who asked him. What’s interesting about that?
  • What is it like to be doubted or not believed when you talk about something you experienced?
  • How would you describe the blind man in this story? Does he seem the same or different at the beginning and end of the story? Why?
  • Are there times when being a faithful witness requires courage? Strategy? Patience? Why? What other characteristics are needed to be a faithful witness?

Negative Example

Read Matthew 26:69-73, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-65 or John 18:15-18, 25-27 (Peter denies Jesus).

  • In what ways was Peter not a faithful witness?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you were afraid to be truthful about Jesus and your relationship with him? What happened? Why did you feel that way?
  • What are some ways you can be ready for being a faithful witness?

Teaching Passage

Read 1 Peter 3:15-1 or Colossians 3:1-18.

  • What do you learn from these verses about being a faithful witness?
  • Why do both our words and actions matter so much as a faithful witness?
  • Do you think words or actions are more important? Why?
  • What are some ways you can speak truth about Jesus in normal daily conversation, not specifically talking about when you started following Jesus but rather how you experience and learn from him through your everyday experiences?

Some Ideas About How to Be a Faithful Witness

Print off and talk through the Tiny Testimony Template. Give one or two examples from your own life. Start working on it during your time together. People can share one response now or continue working on it during the week and share at your next meeting.

 

Student Card

Capernaum Version

More verses about being a faithful witness

An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. (Proverbs 14:5)

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (John 5:14-15)

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:17)

But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. (1 Peter 3:14-16a)

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2103 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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