John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
We’re gonna be looking a again this morning at our last of, of the series, we’re looking at the glory of Jesus from the Book of Revelation, some of the titles that are there.
And we’ve looked at a number that were actually in that song. Uh, we’ve looked at Jesus that he came as a king, that he was the lion of Judah, that he. The root of David. We’ve looked at him that he came as a lamb, he was a savior, a deliverer. We’ve looked at some other titles that are there, but today we’re looking at the very first one that is mentioned in the book of Revelation.
He came as a faithful witness. He, here’s what we read in Revelation chapter one, verse four and five, John to the seven churches that are in. Grace to you and peace from him. Who is and who was, and who is to come. And from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of kings on Earth.
we’ve just declared your worthiness.
And it is in your name. It is because of your work. It is because you came as the faithful witness to what you had seen and known that we gathered this morning on this Christmas day. Lord Jesus, even in these few moments together, exalt yourself in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. It is Christmas, and of course it is the focus of Christmas that Jesus come into the world, but Jesus himself is the one that actually takes the sense of this title and puts it into the Christmas account.
We’re told in John chapter 18, verse 37, when he was standing before Pilate, he said this to Pilate. I came into the world to testify. To the truth. The word testify is the word to bear witness. It means that someone is brought into a courtroom and they there are brought as a primary witness. Jesus says, I came into the world to be a witness, and that concept is what we’re talking about this morning.
To celebrate Christmas this morning is to celebrate the faithful witness. Coming to our world. Two simple questions this morning. In a simple study, what is a faithful witness? What does it mean? And secondly, what does he bear witness to as this witness? What is a faithful witness? What does that term mean?
Well, a couple of things. It means he is an eye witness in courtrooms. There are various levels of witness that is accepted. There are at least. one. The most prominent is the eyewitness account, the person that actually saw it and experienced the, the, the crime that was done or the, the professed crime. A second one is what’s called a secondary witness, that you heard this person say, uh, that, that, that they did this or this was going on, and so they can bring, bring, brought in as a secondary witness.
Of course, it’s a, it’s a lesser weighty witness. , you can bring in an expert witness and the person, maybe they came in, maybe they’re a psychiatrist or a psychologist, and they can testify, well, here’s the things that were going on, and based on what’s going on in their lives, their, their behavior is understandable in this situation and be all kinds of of expert witnesses.
And then the last one can be a character witness where someone, you gather people and they just come and say, this is so out of character to the way that they have ever behaved in all the life we’ve done. All of those can be acceptable witness that are brought into a court case and a and a trial. But the most powerful, of course, is the eyewitness.
The person that says, I saw it, I experienced it. I was there. Jesus was an eyewitness of what he’s going to be talking about in John chapter three, verse 32. Jesus says this talking of himself, he who comes from heaven is above all he bears witness to what he has seen and he has heard. The infant in the manger has come as an eyewitness from heaven.
Now, of course, at first thing swing, this doesn’t seem that. If you’re in a court of law and all of a sudden this 14 year old girl comes in and she’s carrying an infant, and they announce the, the, the, the defense announced, well, this is th this is our witness. Our witnesses arrived. And the prosecuting attorney says, I, you know, I object.
I mean, this is a 14 year old girl. We, uh, and what is she? And they say, oh, no, no, no problem. No problem. It’s not the 14 year old girl. It’s the infant that’s going to be the witness. Well say, well, okay, that’s not a very compelling witness, but in this case it is because during the years of Jesus sojourn on Earth, it will become clear that he has a growing self-awareness and a recall of events.
Places and individuals that extend into a measureless past. By the time he began his public ministry, he is fully aware that he has existed beyond creation itself. He came to bear witness to what he had seen and heard in the far recesses of eternity. He’s an eyewitness to those things. He is a trustworthy witness.
You know, it’s one thing to be able to have observed something, and to me, an eyewitness to it. It’s another thing to tell what you accu tell accurately what you experienced and what you saw. Jesus is a trustworthy witness because he always tells the truth. A faithful witness can be counted on to give a reliable t.
One of the most distressing things that is going on in our culture, to me anyway is, is, is the perspective that it seems so many public figures have that they don’t really have to tell the truth unless they’re under oath in a court as if any other time. It’s not a, it’s not required to, to be a verifiable, reliable witness.
Well, Jesus actually, uh, spoke to. In his sermon on the Mount, and here’s what he said, he said, again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn. But I say to you, and that’s his way of saying that’s not the standard. The the standard isn’t that when you, when you’re in a court of law, you have to tell the truth.
Here’s what he. But I say don’t, do not take an oath at all either by heaven, for it is the throne of God or by the earth for is his foot in his stool or by Jerusalem For it’s the city of the Great King. And do not take an oath on your head for you cannot make one hair white or black. Here’s what he says.
Let what you say, be simply yes or no. Be a reliable witness, not just under oath, because now you are legally bound to your. Always tell the truth. Always be a person that is a truth teller. Jesus tells the truth always. He’s a reliable witness, a trustworthy witness also because he always says the most appropriate things.
This statement is made by John Watts Watson, whose pen name was Ian McLaren. No one has yet discovered the word Jesus ought to have. None suggested the better word he might have said. No action of his shocks, our moral sense, none has fallen short of the ideal. He is full of surprises, but they are all surprises of perfection.
He always says the most appropriate things. Now, of course, we don’t do that. We’ve all had enumerable conversations where we say, ah, this is what I should have said, or This is what I wish I had said, or, or I spoke emotionally out of, out of anger, or I lied, I exaggerated. I framed it. So it wasn’t as bad as it really was, but Jesus is the faithful, trustworthy witness.
He always says the appropriate thing. He always gives a trustworthy. Every word is true. Every word is essential and nothing needed is missing. All that’s involved when it says Jesus is the faithful witness. But what does Jesus bear witness to when he says, I came into the world to be a witness? A witness of what Well we’re.
He bear was witness, first of all, to the nature of God. In John chapter one, it says this, as John records, the same one that is calling them him repeatedly in the book of Revelation, the faithful witness. This is how he describes Jesus in John chapter one. Truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God.
The only God who is at the father’s side, he has made him known. Nobody’s ever seen God. He says, but God, God the Son who’s at the side of God the Father, he has made him known own. Jesus declares to us God. He bears witness to God in his teaching. But he also does it in his actions and behavior. He is called the low goss of God.
In this chapter of John chapter one, the word He is the Word for God. Now, I chose that statement intentionally. I didn’t say the word of God. He is the word for God. If I said the word, What just jumped into your mind is something that looks sort of like that. You may have an elaborate pen. You may have a quill pen, but basically it was a pen.
It’s a writing utensil. The word that expresses that object is pen. I could say fork. And immediately it’s come into your mind. This metal thing with four prongs that you eat lunch. I could say hot air balloon, and you have a whole different visual. There’s a word that expresses all that. This thing is Jesus is that word.
He is the expression of God. And and, and he says he’s the very low Gus visualizing God. If you want to know God. Spend time meditating on Jesus, his teaching, his conversation, his interactions, his responses, all witness to who God is. He’s the very word that expresses who God is, the visual of who he is.
Jesus declares to us God, but he also bears witness. To the will of God. Jesus declared the will of the Father in his teaching. He tells us what that will is. Again, I’m reading from the Gospel of John, John six, verse 40. He says this, for this is the will of my father. That everyone who looks on the sun and believes in him should have eternal life and I’ll raise him up on the last day.
Jesus came to provide a way for people to have eternal life. He says here in John six 40, he continually bears witness that the Father wills people to have that life. It was the will of the Father that consumed Jesus as he entered the world this morning. Consider what Jesus said to his father. As he came into the world, one of my favorite Christmas texts is Hebrews chapter 10, because it actually pulls back the curtain of heaven and tells us when Jesus came as an infant to Beth in that Bethlehem manger, what he was expressing to the father as he came.
It’s an amazing passage. Here’s what he said. When Christ came into the world, Emmy ring, Hebrews chapter 10, verses five through seven. He said, sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me in burn offerings and sin offerings. You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, behold, I have come to do your will.
Oh. That’s your Christmas text as you sit there this morning, maybe in your pajamas, and celebrate together as a family. As we do so here in this room, what Christmas is, is Jesus saying, I’m coming to bear witness to who God is. I’m coming also to bear witness to the plan of God. I’m that plan. I’m coming.
And what has been prepared for you? Me is a. To take the place of the bodies, of, of animals that have been the sacrificial offerings to cover the sins of people. And he goes on in that passage, says, once you have to do it every year, in some case you have to repeat it multiple times. He says, but I’m coming to provide one sacrifice forever.
He said, I’m coming to declare this is the father’s will. This is, this is my, my message as the low of God. Is that my father is sending me because he wills people to know him, to walk with him, to enjoy him, to do eternity with him, and he prepared a body for me that that body could grow and live and fulfill all righteousness for 30 something years.
And then that, that. Could be slain as I became the lamb, the sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world. All that embraced me as their savior. And he says, this is my declaration. I’ve come to bear witness. This is who my father is like, and this is what my father wills, that people would know him through me.
Jesus came to be the faithful witness. To testify to what God is like and what God wants to offer. Sinners, broken people who need forgiveness and healing. But don’t take it from me. Why not use going into this new year in January to take a book of the Bible, like the Book of Luke, and just for a month read chapter every day and reflect upon.
The testimony regarding Christ to look at it, to, to, to, to watch the fantastic series, the passion that is basically walking us through the Book of Luke and just look and listen to what Jesus is saying. I’m bearing witness to the one I’ve known from eternity past. This is who he is. This is what he’s like.
I’m declaring his character as I walk among you, but also I’m declaring his plan, his will, that he wants people to know him and to have life with him. And I’ve come on this Christmas morning saying to my father, as, as I’m coming to this planet, I’m coming to do your will and it’s done in a body that you’ve prepared for me.
Jesus great Christmas present to us is himself. He came to be the faithful witness to bear testimony to what he knows of the father, and to reveal and fulfill the father’s will for our salvation and to us. He then says, Merry Christmas. I am the gift. He is given himself. Lord,
I thank you that you came the reliable, trustworthy witness, that you’re bearing witness to what you have known into the very recesses of eternity.
You showed it in your life, in your responses. in your words, you showed us the father, you showed us God, and then to realize that you’ve come to show us the father’s heart in his plan, that we would know him, that we would do eternity with him, do life with him forever.
We worship you this morning on this Christmas. as the faithful witness. In Jesus’ name, amen. Amen. Merry Christmas everybody. Merry.