It is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us … become with us a witness to his resurrection. (Acts 1:21,22)
Peter, new head of the infant church, was thinking long-term. His concern, St. John Chrysostom tells us, “was to have eyewitnesses, even though the Spirit was to come upon all. It had to be someone who had lived with Jesus, not simply someone who was a disciple.” It had to be someone who could look people in the eye and declare without a shadow of a doubt: “I saw him die. I saw him risen from the dead.” Many of Jesus’ followers could testify to his miracles; only a few, to the resurrection.
Such a testimony carries weight. It moves hearts and minds, and it provokes decisions. Chrysostom goes on: “The apostle who could say: ‘The very man who ate and drank and was crucified also rose from the dead’ would be more deserving of belief.” A person like this could stir up belief, or at least hunger to believe, in those who heard. And the whole world was waiting to hear, eager to receive this marvelous news.
The world is still waiting to hear—both about the power of the resurrection and what Jesus is doing today. And that’s why God calls every one of us to be a witness to some aspect of God’s life. God has worked in each of our lives in specific ways so that each of us can reveal something unique about who he is. Matthias witnessed the resurrection, and was chosen to tell about that. But surely you have seen something of who God is! Surely you have experienced his presence in a way all your own. Whatever it is, that is the “resurrection” God is calling you to proclaim.
Few of us will stand in a pulpit or on a street corner. But wherever you are, you can share what you know. Remaining peaceful in chaotic situations speaks volumes about who Jesus is and what difference his life in you makes. Refusing to take offense, no matter how liberally it is offered, tells of a life steeped in forgiveness. Sometimes, too, your witness will be in words, as you announce Jesus’ power to heal, deliver, and forgive. Don’t sell yourself short. You are just as important today as Matthias was two thousand years ago!
“Jesus, you are risen! Show me today how and where to be your witness.”