Right in the middle of perhaps the most beautiful, breathtaking, magisterial descriptions of the eternal Son of God ever penned, the apostle John, abruptly it seems, writes these words: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John" (John 1:6). They almost feel like an interruption, like a distraction. Is the apostle directing our eyes away from God the Son, the Word, the Life, the Light, in order to look at a man? No. The apostle is directing us to see the Son through a man. This seemingly odd insertion about John the Baptist reveals something else profound and mysterious: God has chosen to make witnesses the windows through which men see Jesus.
For fallen humans, witnesses are windows to the truth. That's why whenever we must judge whether someone is telling us the truth or not, we almost always look for a witness. For us, there is something uniquely powerful about an objective person who confirms the truth of another's testimony, someone who has nothing worldly to gain from verifying what he believes to be true. If that witness is willing to suffer loss by his verification, it's even more powerful. And if many witnesses are willing to suffer loss, even their own lives, to confirm the truth of a person's testimony, it is exponentially powerful.