“ We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet 1:16, ESV).
“ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you” (1 Jn 1:1-3, ESV).
Our “ Eyes to See ” are “ Struggling Eyes ,” for the testimony was given in a great struggle & the testimony caused others to struggle.
“ When they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” (vv 27-28, ESV).
While the apostles escaped death on this occasion, only the Apostle John would escape martyrdom altogether.
“ About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:1-2, ESV).
Ten of the other Twelve & Paul all suffered martyrdom.
John also suffered persecution.
“ I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 1:9, ESV).
Hearing the Word of God often brings a struggle, for we realize that we aren’t what we need to be.
The crowd at Pentecost was pricked in the heart by Peter’s divinely-directed preaching.
“ A number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:19, ESV).
Our “ Eyes to See ” are “ Shifting Eyes ” for the testimony of the apostles brings a shift in perspective – repentance.
“ Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins’” (vv 29-31, ESV).
How does the Holy Spirit testify to the truthfulness of apostolic preaching?
The apostles were arrested because they were healing people (Acts 5:12-16).
The Spirit enabled them to speak in languages they had not studied (e.g., Pentecost).
The Spirit inspired the words of the apostles.
“ We also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess 2:13, ESV).
“ No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:21, ESV).
Because the testimony of the apostles is the Word of God, we can trust every word!