WITNESSING TO JESUS
BY FR VALENTINE EGBUONU, MSP
1st Reading: Jer 11:18-20; Psalm: 7. R. v. 2a; Gospel: Jn 7:40-53
Have we ever listened to someone who in all ramifications convince us to believe in a topic or point of discussion? People like this usually gain that intellectual asset to argue and convince by learning and by experience. But this was not so in the case of Jesus. Jesus’ authority to teach was divine. He learnt from no one. His teachings are unprecedented and unequivocally electrifying. This was why these officers who were sent to arrest him returned and said to the Pharisees “No man ever spoke like this man.” The Pharisees were disappointed and asked them “Are you led astray also?” Even though these officers were convinced by the words of Jesus, they spoke no further in defence of this because of the fear of the Pharisees.
Another man who personally experienced the fire-burning words of Jesus was Nicodemus. He was that secret disciple of Jesus who before now went to him at night to learn from him (Jn 3:1-21). Seeing that these officers were silenced by the question of the Pharisees, he also spoke up in defence of Jesus but indirectly by quoting that the law forbids judgment without hearing (Exo 23:1; Deut 1:16). He was also attacked with a question by the Pharisees: “Are you from Galilee too?” This question was a warning to him to stand aside or face their wrath. Just like the officers, Nicodemus couldn’t press further on his conviction. His heart told him to defend Jesus, but his head told him not to take the risk. He yielded.
Have we seen ourselves in a situation that we are required to witness to our faith and failed to do so? Times where for the fear of losing the friendship of others we suppress the truth and follow the crowd. That moment we are not bold enough to stand apart from the crowd. Christians who relent in situations like this are not convinced of the faith they have come to embrace by hearing. If we are among this category of Christians, we need to strengthen our faith. Remember Jesus’ warning: “Whoever confesses me before men, I will confess him before my Father in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny before my Father in heaven (Mat 10:32-33).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Grant us the courage O Lord to witness to our faith. Amen.
Happy New Month