We can’t bear witness to his birth, or his life, or his death and resurrection. We weren’t there when he turned water into wine or when he raised the dead back to life. But if we have been saved by his work, then we must go and tell it on the mountains. We must tell it over the hills and everywhere. If we have tasted of Christ and seen that he is good, we must also invite others to do the same.
When I was a little boy, my home cell group would go out for evangelism one Sunday evening every month. That was my first exposure to evangelism, which meant walking the streets of Barnawa, sharing tracts and informing people that Jesus loved them. I wasn’t saved at the time. And all I knew I had to do was to give out tracts, tell people that Jesus loved them, and invite them to church the next Sunday. But I learnt what it meant to witness at the age of 10. What I didn’t know was that we were doing what the apostles did hundreds of years before us.
The apostle John, in the prologue to his first epistle, tells us that the apostles were witnesses (1 John 1:1-4). He had stated at the close of his gospel that he was bearing witness about the life of Christ (John 21:24). In his epistle, he expands the witness list to include the other apostles. He uses strong verbs to communicate this truth—we have heard, we have seen with our eyes, we looked upon, we touched with our hands. He says that the the apostles were witness-bearers to the life of Christ. And not just mere witnesses. They were eyewitnesses.
I find the legal profession helpful in stressing the importance of the apostle’s claims. The legal system deals with witnesses and evidences. Two types of evidences exist: direct and indirect evidence. Direct evidence directly proves a fact, usually based on a recollection of events by an eyewitness. Indirect evidence doesn’t directly prove a fact, but presents evidence of other facts that can help prove the main case. This helps to explain why direct evidence is stronger than indirect evidence. Only eyewitnesses can provide direct evidence. The apostles were eyewitnesses and they provide direct evidence concerning the life of Christ.