A reading from the gospel according to John 5:31-47:
31 Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
32 But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
33 You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
34 I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.
35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
37 Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
38 and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
39 You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.
40 But you do not want to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept human praise;
42 moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
43 I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.
44 How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
John the Baptist testified about Jesus through his words and his way of life. He spoke about the coming Messiah of whom he was not worthy to tie His shoes. More importantly, his extremely simple yet radical way of life and his call to repentance attracted a lot of followers. On the other hand, Jesus is truly the Messiah who testified to the truth that the Father has sent Him to save the world. Yet the religious leaders of His time did not accept Him. They would rather opt to stick to their cherished laws and tradition rather than accept the offer of salvation. Their pride as highly educated class blinded them to the dawn of new life with Jesus.
As we continue to reflect on the life of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, let us look deeply on our faith experience or lack of it. To begin with, we check how much do we know about Jesus, the incarnate Word of God. If you have not yet accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, you can take a moment to do so. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, open your heart and say, ”Jesus Christ, come and be my Lord and Savior. Amen”. It is as simple as that. Then find someone among your friends and acquaintances who can help you take the next step or give us a message.
For those who have been in this Christian journey for quite some times, let us check how our words and works or action testify to the truth about Jesus. Are we like John the Baptist preparing the way for people to know and follow Jesus? It may happen that we have become like the Pharisees who think highly of ourselves and at the same time critical of others to the point of turning them off. It is good to know that we are growing in faith and wisdom but this growth must show itself in terms of fruits such as behavioral changes and more service to others.
To testify to the truth of Christ means living like Jesus and speaking or sharing His words and blessings to others. Our testimony does not have to be extraordinary or amazing. In fact, the more ordinary it is, the better so that we can easily relate to ordinary people. The danger for monumental or dramatic testimony is the tendency to become unbelievable. Also, we might only be interested in getting good feedbacks or the “praise of men” that Jesus is cautioning us about. What we should always remember is to give glory and praise to God with our testimony.