Friday, October 6, 2017

Two Paths, One Witness


Yes, they knew each other – and they both are Jews who lived in the first part of the first century. It appears they were about the same age, but they were very different men.

We know quite about about Peter’s family because he and his brother, Andrew, were workers in the family business. It was Andrew who first heard John the Baptist introduce Jesus – perhaps attending Jesus’ baptism. Andrew told his brother and instead of following the family business, these fishermen became “fishers of men.”

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-20 KJV)

The next three years were tumultuous. People were divided. Sides were taken. Peter was very vocal about his support of Jesus. Immediately following Jesus’ telling the disciples of His death and resurrection, Peter says:

Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. (Matthew 26:33 KJV)

Open your Bible to that verse – read the previous, then read Jesus’ response. Then turn to Matthew 26:69-75 to read the rest of that particular story.

One of the detractors of this band of Christ followers was Saul. He describes himself as the “Hebrew of Hebrews”:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (Philippians 3:5 KJV)

He continues in the following verses to confess as to his persecution of Christ’s followers, but the best of the story is found in Acts, chapter 9. What a tremendous event it had to be to change this man’s heart! He had to be struck blind before he could see.

Those are the two paths taken to reach an understanding of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, but they pretty much give the same witness.

It comes earlier in Acts, Peter’s witness, Acts 2:1-36. Yes, I’ll include the link, but I really wish you would pick up your Bible and read those verses, then flip over to Acts 26:1-29 and compare Paul’s witness.

Both witnesses tell fully the verses Jesus said to Nicodemus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJV)

Do you know Christians today who give the very same heart witness account that these eyewitnesses gave? It is the message Jesus Himself gave then and gives now.  Begin there, and learn about Him if you haven’t before.  If you have met and love Him, please go tell someone so they can do the same.

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