Key Verse

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.
— John 1:23

A Witness without Words

John 1:15-30

One of the greatest responsibilities of a Christian is to be a reflection of Christ.

See that new kid over there?” Bryson pointed toward the side of the school building. “Someone told me he is a Christian. I’m going to keep my distance from him. I can’t stand Christians!”

“Why?” Chase asked, surprised. “He’s really nice. He moved in just up the block from me and I talked to him once. I don’t know what you mean.”

“Just wait,” Bryson laughed. “You’ll see. Hey, do you remember Gavin?”

Chase thought for a moment, “Yeah, I think so, but that was so long ago.”

“Well, I remember him real well! He was a Christian and all he did was preach and pick. I couldn’t do anything right according to him. I didn’t like to be with him at all, and I certainly don’t want to be around any others.”

The bell rang, signaling the end of their lunch break. Chase returned to class with questions tumbling through his mind about Christians and the new boy, Lane. They had talked for quite a while the other day and Lane hadn’t “preached” or “picked” once. Maybe he wasn’t a Christian or maybe—Oh, I’m so mixed up now, he thought, I don’t know if I want to be his friend or not.

At last school was over and everyone started home. To his surprise, Chase noticed Bryson and Lane talking to each other in front of the school. He went to join them, thinking all the time, Please don’t preach, Lane. When he reached them, Bryson turned slightly and rolled his eyes as if to say, “Watch out!”

“Hi, Chase, what are your plans for the afternoon?” Lane asked. “I just invited Bryson over to my house to shoot hoops. Could you come too?”

“Well . . . sure, I guess so,” Chase said.

“Great! Mom’s baking today so I’m sure we’ll have something good to eat too.”

When they reached Lane’s house, Bryson and Chase waited under the hoop in the driveway while Lane went inside to get his basketball. While they were alone Chase asked Bryson why he came to Lane’s house when he didn’t like Christians. “I just wanted to prove to you that I’m right,” was Bryson’s reply.

Just then Lane returned. “Mom baked two kinds of cookies and a chocolate cake,” he said as he shot the first basket. “We can have cookies and milk when we get tired.”

For the next hour the thump of a basketball mingled with snatches of conversation out on the driveway. Stopping for a breather, they discovered mutual interests in sports and cars. Bryson thought it was great that Lane liked to go backpacking, because Bryson and his dad had gone last summer and had a great time. After another session in front of the hoop, they were all tired and ready for a snack. Lane said, “Come on! Let’s go in and get some of those cookies!”

“I’d rather have the chocolate cake,” said Bryson as he knelt to retie his shoe.

“Sorry about that, but Mom said no, not this time,” answered Lane.

“Once you’ve taken it there’s not much she can do! So why not have some?” Bryson said. “Chocolate cake sounds just too good to miss, and no one will know who took it.”

“I would know, and I can’t do that to my mom,” Lane said quietly. “I’m a Christian.”

“Someone told me you were, but you haven’t preached at us so I thought maybe they were wrong. You’re a nice guy,” Bryson replied.

Lane laughed. “Christians don’t preach all the time! We just have to make sure we live and do right. I don’t want to do anything to make you think bad of Jesus.”

Bryson said, “You haven’t made me think bad of anybody. In fact, when I said to take the cake, you talked about you not making your mom feel bad. You didn’t say I was wrong at all. You’re okay. Maybe Christians are all right.”

Chase smiled to himself and felt sure they would all be friends after all.

  1. As our story brings out, witnessing is much more than just words. It is also action. When we read of John the Baptist, most of us can visualize a man in strange clothes, preaching to many people in the country. He was called of God to tell others about Jesus. We are called to point others to Christ by the life we live. God’s Word should be a living part of our lives and attitudes. If you are a Christian, remember, your friends will judge your Lord by you.