“Tell them what great things the Lord has done for you” Mark 5:19`
That was the instruction given to the formerly possessed as Jesus sent them back to their homes to work for the kingdom. Nothing is more meaningful than first-hand knowledge. What you have personally seen, felt, tasted, experienced is not theory, but evidence.
But not all stories are the same.
To the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:25-34, her story would be how she had born the burden of a deadly illness for many years and how no one could bring her any relief. She could tell them how she just happened to be in an area where Jesus was passing by (no coincidence). Her testimony would say that her belief in His ability to heal her was so great she knew that even though the crowds blocked her from speaking with Jesus, if she could manage to touch a piece of His clothing, she would be healed. She could tell how that one touch gave her back her life and how Jesus’ words of affirmation sealed her love for the Master forever.
To the man on his deathbed as recorded in Mark 2:1-12, his testimony would be how a life of bad choices had taken his life on a downward spiral leading to bodily ruin almost at a point of death. He could tell how in desperation, his friends managed to get him on top of a small house, and taking apart the covering, lowered him down right into the presence of Jesus. His testimony would highlight that although man had given up on him and considered his case hopeless, Jesus did not. The words of forgiveness he heard from the Savior’s lips gave him that peace that passes all understanding. And if that wasn’t enough, his body was healed. Instead of returning home on a death mat, he was leaping for joy in the vigor of youth.
To the woman we identify as caught in adultery, found in John 8:1-11, her story would be one that would give hope to many who, through bad choices and circumstances, had to carry a label of shame. On the worst day of her life, she could tell how she met Jesus face to face. When the crowds were shouting for her death, Jesus quietly dispersed all her accusers. She could go on to tell how she heard the words of grace from His lips, “neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” What a testimony of acceptance she would be able to share! What hope and encouragement she would give to all of those whose shameful past was blocking their future!
And to Peter, the beloved disciple, his testimony in Luke 22:54-62 would center on Christ’s grace, mercy, and loving forgiveness. His story of turning his back on what he knew to be true is one that many can relate to. Being self-confident and not realizing that your wits and experience would be no match for what life can throw against you has led to the missteps of many. Oh, but Peter found in his Master a love that was so deep and pure that it washed away his failure and gave him a life of purpose he could have never imagined.
Story after story, example after example, the Bible records how God through Jesus is drawing us to Himself. People from all walks of life met Jesus, and their lives were never the same. Redemption accepts no barriers and is open to all.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3
Each story is unique, but the most important one is your story.
What will you tell others about your encounter with Jesus?
Will your story be one of healing and restoration?
Will it be one of rescuing at the eleventh hour and deliverance from calamity?
And most importantly, will it be one of forgiveness of sins and the ability to lead a victorious life in Him?
What is the story you will tell?
Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:
- What does the word “witness” mean to you?
- Isn’t it true that the most effective way to witness is distributing literature about our church?
- Isn’t it true that even though one doesn’t have a nice personality, they can still be a good witness as long as they tell others about Bible truths? Explain your answer.
- Isn’t it true that as long as one financially contributes on a regular basis to a church, they have met any obligations for witnessing? Why yes or no?
- Is there a difference between witnessing and being a witness? Explain your answer.
- Is the following True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: You are not ready to do serious witnessing until you know your Bible thoroughly. Explain your answer.
We close this week on Sharing the Story of Jesus with the words of the disciple John who had a front-row view of Jesus as he walked among men:
“From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.
We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!” 1 John 1:1-4 (The Message)
Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!