For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
God requires witnesses. In all eras and places, God has required that there be testimony on earth regarding His Purpose and His Will for man. John, the beloved disciple, confirms this, both in his Gospel as well as in his letters. In John 5, the Lord Jesus mentions five witnesses.
The first of these is John the Baptist. "John came as a testimony" (John 1:7). John was the greatest man born of women; nevertheless his ministry was very brief, because he was only a voice calling in the desert. He said: "Behold the Lamb of God, Who removes the sin of the world". Once his testimony was delivered, his voice was silenced.
The second 'witness' were the works that the Lord Jesus performed. "The same works that I do, give testimony of me" (John 5:36). The unbelievers need to see in order to believe. The Jews were unbelievers, that is why the Lord Jesus did His Works in their sight so that His Works would be the testimony the Jews needed to have. However, they did not believe.
"Also the Father that sent me has given testimony of me" (5:37), said the Lord. The Father gave testimony at the Jordan river, when Jesus was baptized. Then He again testified at the Mount of Transfiguration. Once more He testified just before Jesus went to the Cross. But His testimony was not received either.
Finally, Moses, in whom the Jews had their hope, gave testimony. "Moses wrote about me", Jesus said. To the Jews, Moses was the greatest prophet. They considered themselves to be disciples of Moses. His word was totally sure, credible. But the Jews were unable to understand in the writings of Moses what he was testifying about Christ. All that Moses wrote was full of Christ: the tabernacle with all its details, the priesthood with its vestments and ceremonies, the sacrifices, the Jewish feasts. But all this was a mystery to them.
God has required witnesses, so that man will be without excuse at the hour of judgment. That is why the "Gospel of the Kingdom -said the Lord- will be preached in all the world, as a testimony to all the nations" (Matthew 24:14).
When the Lord gave His last instructions to the disciples before ascending to Heaven, He told them: "...and ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). When we read the book of Acts, we can verify how faithfully they obeyed this instruction. In the preaching of the apostles we read repeated once and again about their condition as witnesses. "This Jesus God resurrected, of which all of us are witnesses", he says during Pentecost. (Acts 2:32). "...This Jesus God resurrected, of which all of us are witnesses", He said after healing the lame man at the door Beautiful (Acts 3:15). In the house of Cornelius, He says it again: "And we are witnesses of all the things that Jesus did in the land of Judea and in Jerusalem..." (10:39).
God has had witnesses; God seeks witnesses. Are you among them?