Gospel John 1:29-34
‘I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’
There is a lot spoken of this man Jesus. A seemingly unremarkable bloke – the son of a carpenter from an average town in first-century Palestine – and yet, here Jesus is spoken of in the most lofty, elevated, esoteric, apocalyptic language as the pre-existing Lamb of God. How odd!
What are we to make of this?
When the Baptist, himself a remarkably unusual figure, points to Jesus describing him in this way he adds interestingly that he has seen this, that he is a witness to this fact of Jesus being the ‘Chosen One of God.’
When we think of a witness, we often think of one who testifies on behalf of another in a court case or similar. The witness, if they are deemed trustworthy, and if their testimony corresponds with other facts, such testimony is taken as reassurance that their account is true.
This is how knowledge operates in so many spheres of our lives – we trust the word of another and it is reasonable to do so. In fact, we could say that it is unreasonable to distrust another without an adequate reason. ‘It’s called faith, knowledge by faith, the recognition of a reality through a witness someone gives, someone who, indeed, is called “witness.”,’ (Giussani, 7).
When John spoke these words, when he gave witness to this Jesus bloke, he offers an invitation to test not only his own credibility, but whether these words correspond to our experience of the man himself.
This invitation becomes an niggling annoyance, which once heard we cannot get rid of. Can this be true? And if it is true, what does it mean for me in my life, today?
At some point we can suppress it no longer – we need to engage in an honest effort to verify this testimony.
Who is this man, Jesus?
Point to Ponder
‘Truly, knowledge by faith is the proof of the seriousness and dignity of man. Someone really only says “no” to faith because he is impeded by something he wants, something that he wants that doesn’t coincide with the original and deep need of the heart, with elementary experience.’
Luigi Giussani, Is it Possible to Live This Way?: Vol.1 Faith, 41.