Learn What it Means to be a Witness | 04

AUTHOR: Holy Scripture


As we continue to study the timeless words of the apostle Paul in Romans, the profound message of rescue, redemption, and restoration comes alive. Paul also embodied the last words of Jesus to the disciples “…and you will be my witnesses….”
Men and women of the Bible can serve as our mentors and guides as we learn to be effective witnesses.

Read or listen to Luke 2:21-38.

When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before he was conceived. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,

Now, Master,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.

His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed—and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

What do Simeon and Anna teach us about being faithful witnesses to the salvation of God?

The written Scripture is CSB, however, the audio Scripture is ESV.


Read the blog below. What does it teach about being a witness?

Fish Hats are Beautiful

By Akilah Boone

“Jesus loves me, this I know.” Rory belts out from the corner of the room, stacking together the pieces of her wooden block tower. “For the Bible tells me so.”

My daughter is now 1 year old and at the age where playdates are less a time to “catch up” with my fellow mom friends, and more about chasing around toddlers and imaginative, parallel play. Today we are playing with our three year-old friend Rory.

“Your dress is so pretty, Rory!” I say. She is in the stage when picking out her own outfit is very important. She is bold and creative and leans into whatever strikes her fancy. As she twirls through the room, bouncing from blocks, to Play-doh, to costumes, she comes to stand in front of me.

“I know! My outfit. It’s beautiful.” Rory says confidently, after adding a hat shaped like a fish to her head and fairy wings that once belonged to a more elaborate Halloween costume. Her mom carries a look of amusement in her eyes, and I can’t help but admire this little girl’s resolve. There is nothing that will convince her that her ensemble isn’t the best thing ever. She’s holding that truth with all the strength of her little heart. And who am I to argue?

She continues to twirl around the room, singing and making the living room her personal playground. She stops in front of my daughter handing her a Mickey Mouse headband “Baby Zara, repeat after me. ‘Jesus loves me this I know! For the Bible tells me so!”

As she spins to a stop in front of me again, I sit there, eyes filled with wonder.

“He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do.” Romans 4:20-21

Abraham was given a promise. God had promised to make him the father of many nations. There were plenty of reasons to doubt God’s promise, and in many ways this promise would have felt impossible. Sarah was barren, they were 90 and 99 years old, and even if Sarah could bear a child, how could she possibly produce ”many descendants”? Yet despite all of this, Abraham took God at his word. He believed that God would fulfill his promise and trusted his word.

And Abraham was right. He trusted God and it not only strengthened his faith, but glorified God. Those of us who have followed the stories of the Bible know God indeed blessed Abraham and Sarah with children. Even more, from Abraham’s lineage came Jesus who would come to make all things new. God is able and faithful to fulfill his promise, even when the “how” is hard to see. Abraham knew this was true and that seed of truth passed through generations.

Minutes later, my daughter recognizes the sound of a melody and starts to grunt and mumble in the way I have come to know as her “singing”. Rory has such a deep joy in song that she can’t help but want others to experience joy with her.

As I sit back watching Rory and Zara play, I am taken aback at the way children show us how very simple faith can be. Rory is learning through church and her parents that God created all things, that she is loved by God, and God sent his son Jesus to save us because of his love. But I am also learning from Rory.

The lesson is simple. Rory holds what she believes is true with unwavering conviction. Those truths spill into her joys. She invites others to share in her joy and in what she knows is true.

And all I can think is I want to be like Rory…like Abraham. I want to walk boldly and with deep resolve in my faith and my God. I want to help others live like the outworking of their faith is ingrained in who they are and what they love. I want to sow seeds of truth that pass through generations.

I want to be like a three year-old, to lean unwaveringly into what is true. God is able, Jesus loves you, and fish hats are beautiful.


Lord, like Anna, I want to be a faithful witness to your salvation.


Week 4 of 8 Witness

1 Comment

  1. Steve Shandy

    Beautiful story! We can learn so much from the little children. Thank you so much for sharing it!


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