Links Daily Devotional

The Testimony of Experience

“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25, NIV)

I know. If you have a talkative golf buddy who has just returned from a really nice trip, you’re bound to get an earful. There is no such thing as “the five-minute version”—you’re getting the whole narrative.

But when we get to explaining a year later why we went to the same destination ourselves, it’s not just because we read about it in a magazine or saw a couple of gorgeous pictures online. It’s also because of those stories, the ones we kept hearing from our friends who had been. There was just such a degree of convincing pleasure in the voice of their testimony.

Now consider a similar truth in regards to what we know about Jesus.

There is what we read on the pages of Scripture, both in the Old Testament types, shadows and prophecies, and in the Gospel witnesses. There are the theological connections made in the apostles’ letters. Jesus is Savior, Lord, and Treasure. Jesus is God. This is the evidence of the inspired word of God, the Bible.

But there is also the Word of God—and here we’ll use the capital letter as we find it in the prologue to the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this case, the Word was not only the inspiration of God, but rather God himself.

Laying these two alongside one another, which convinces you more: the word of God (the Bible) or the Word as God (Jesus)? Let me shortcut: today we are making an argument for both.

In the accounts of John 9, Jesus healed a man born blind. Mud and spittle and sight. This man had a testimony. But he had no theology.

When it came time for the blind-man-now-seeing to speak up about what had happened to him—to give his testimony—he was required to give it to those who most adhered to the word of God (the Bible, or in this Jewish case, the Tenakh). These theological leaders could tell you all there was to know about the Law and the Prophets. What they could not tell you about was Jesus.

The man was different. He had pedestrian knowledge of the Scriptures and actually not so much knowledge about Jesus—but for this one thing: “I was blind and now I see.” His testimony was the testimony of experience. He had met Jesus and Jesus had changed him.

How clear that makes this balance. You may know all there is to know about Jesus from the word of God and miss the Word of God. You can miss Jesus. You can, like Nicodemus, be “the teacher of Israel” and not understand the things of God because you do not know God.

Is your testimony so full as this? Have you had experience with Jesus? Then get to talking, and let others be moved by the Scripture that comes to life because God has touched one like you.

Jeff Hopper
May 14, 2014
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