But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Many of us still can't answer this question as adults. When we were kids we gave the most outrageous answers. We wanted to be a professional athletes, musicians, or actresses who spent their spare time being an astronaut.
But what has Jesus called all of us to be? In the Luke-Acts version of the Great Commission we are all called to be witnesses. The word for witnesses is interesting in the original language. It is "martys" (pronounced "martous") and it identifies a person as a witness in one of three ways.
- An eyewitness or observer of an event.
- One who testifies to what they witnessed publicly, as in a court of law
- Those who pay the ultimate price for their witness, who faithfully testify to the truth of Jesus even unto death.
Looking at the third definition of the word it is easy to see how "martys" gave birth to our word "martyr."
In Acts 1:8 Jesus sends His followers out to be witnesses in the second and third senses of the word. He sends them out to testify to what they have already witnessed. They must go and bear witness to Jesus’ death and resurrection, many of them even unto death.
Jesus is sending you out and do the same, to testify to the truth of the gospel, to tell others about the salvation you have experienced in Christ. This is who you are called to be. This is what you are called to do, and it is a great responsibility.
Are you a faithful witness? Do the people you live with, work with, and go to school with know that you are a believer? Have you invited them to believe in Christ as well? Don’t let your boss or your teacher silence you. In fact, never allow anyone to silence you when the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded you to speak. Testify to the truth of Jesus even if it means you get into trouble. Don’t be obnoxious about it, but never allow anyone to force you to check your faith at the door.