Do vs Be

do vs be“When all the people heard of Jesus' arrival, they flocked to see Him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” (NLT) - John 12: 9-11 There are no recorded words of Lazarus in the Gospels. And yet, because of him, many people believed in Jesus. They heard what happened, that Lazarus was dead, in the tomb for four days, and then he was alive because of Jesus.

Jesus did not ever really tell us to DO our witnessing.

Rather, we are to BE a witness of His love, His healing power, His ability to take lives that are spiritually dead and make us alive. I think of the words credited to both Mother Teresa and Francis of Assisi: “Witness all the time and when necessary use words.”

Well, you might say, Lazarus was raised from the dead. That’s a pretty hard act to follow.  I can talk about my faith, but I don’t have anything that dramatic to show for it.

But you do! 

All of us were dead in our sins before Jesus became our savior. 

Just as Lazarus was set free from the stinking grave clothes, so we have been set free from the stench of our sins and destructive behavior. All of us have a story to live and tell of Jesus and His love for us.

Lazarus was known as a friend of Jesus, even before his dramatic return from the dead.  He seems to have been a respected member of his community—a nice person, with a good reputation. That’s important, as part of our witness. But what really drew people to him, and what brought them to salvation, was the witness of his changed life and his relationship with Jesus.

I’m sure that Lazarus was also eager to tell people about Jesus—it’s normal to talk about someone who has changed your life. The woman at the well who also had a dramatic encounter with Jesus couldn’t wait to tell everyone as she exclaimed, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?” (John 4: 29).

Whether our witness is verbal or through our actions, may it be laced with love and a genuine caring for the other person, as a true reflection of God’s love for us.

“Lighthouses don’t fire guns or ring bells to call attention to their light, they just shine.” —Sherwood E. Wirt

[Photo: Richard Wong, CreationSwap]