Thursday, February 11, 2010
Today’s Topic: Eyewitness Reports
Today’s Text: 2 Peter 1:16-18 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
According to several sites I researched on the internet this morning, there seems to be an attempt by those in our legal system to bring discredit to the value of eyewitness testimony. Psychologists have teamed up with lawyers to put in place serious doubts about the average person’s ability to recall events clearly and without prejudice based on personal perceptions. People don’t remember things precisely. They embellish. They filter what they see through their own set of issues. The time that lapses from the event to the testimony brings one’s memory into question. Eyewitness testimony is not viewed as very credible today.
But there is a way that eyewitness testimony becomes credible. First, it must be consistent. The event must be related the same every time no matter how far removed from the event by time the witness is. And second, it must be able to be corroborated. The testimony must be supported by other testimony and by the evidence.
Consistency and Corroboration. The same qualities that make the eyewitnesses of the life of Christ credible. The same qualities that make you and me credible witnesses.
Peter didn’t make up a story. It was consistent for the rest of his natural life. It was corroborated by all of the other eyewitnesses and the historical evidence. It continues to be.
But what about our lives? We are commissioned by Jesus Christ to be witnesses – eyewitnesses – of His saving power. Is there consistency to your testimony, both in word and deed? Can your testimony be corroborated by your lifestyle? By your friends?
Consistency and corroboration. Makes for a great eyewitness. You can be one!