Introduction to the Week
A disciple must also become a witness. This is a person who proclaims and announces
what they have seen and heard of God’s active and visible work in the world taking
place through the ongoing ministry of Jesus. This week we will examine several
important stories from the New Testament about people who bear witness to the power
of God at work in and through the ministry of Jesus.
Monday: Go and tell people what you have seen and heard . . .
According to the Gospels, John the Baptist and his followers are some of the earliest
witnesses to the power of God visibly at work through the ministry of Jesus. Here is
a clear example from the Gospel of Luke:
The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his
disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to
wait for another?” When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent
us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’” Jesus
had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Luke 7:21-23).
Jesus does not answer John’s question directly.
• He simply refers John’s emissaries to the healing power that is visibly working
through his ministry and actions.
• Could it be that Jesus himself is not certain about the nature of his call?
According to Luke, powerful healing by Jesus is a crucial aspect of what it means for
him to be Messiah, as is proclaiming good news to the poor.
• Bearing witness to the results of this healing power is part of proclaiming the
identity of Jesus as Messiah.
• Bearing witness to the ways that Jesus attends to the needs of the poor is also a
part of proclaiming his messianic identity.
Questions for Reflection
• In our modern world, many people in the healing arts continue to carry out the
ministry of Jesus, whether they call it that or not. Doctors, nurses, hospitals,
emergency clinics, acupuncturists, therapists (physical and mental) and many
others – they all offer their expertise and experience for the healing of others.
Where do you see such healing power at work in the world? Have you told
anyone about these ways you see God at work healing? If not, why not?
• In what ways do you see God responding to the needs of the poor? How are you
communicating what you see, or participating in God’s response?
Gracious God, who has compassion on those in need: give me the eyes to see your
healing power at work through the ministry of Jesus and the courage to proclaim
him as Messiah, so that others may come to experience his healing power and love.