John 4:39-42 (ESV) Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
At the moment in Church we are hearing some fine preaching though the book of John. I only wish we had a website with the sermons on it so that I could share it with you in full. One point from yesterday’s message struck me quite strongly. It was in regard to the woman’s transformed life and subsequent witness. Here was a woman loaded down with sin, shame and social rejection now mindless of any of that. She had drunk of the living water of Christ through hearing and believing his words. She then goes straight into town and raises many people to come and hear Jesus for themselves. Some believed in Jesus just through her account of what happened to her at the well – her evidence and personal transformation (perhaps she always hid herself in shame and rejection) was just so striking to them.
It was, however, only when the people of the village heard Jesus for themselves that they really knew that Jesus was the Saviour of the world. It is essential that a person hears Jesus speaking themselves. Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit, sent by Christ to testify about him.
1 John 5:5-12 (ESV) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
In evangelising, we need to be just like that Samaritan woman. Lets run to as many people as we can to tell them of what Jesus has done on the cross. The Holy Spirit may use our efforts and testify through them.
In the daily grind of life it is not normal to expect to feel the tremendous emotion that the woman felt on that day; let us not be compelled by emotion (then we would never be consistent witnesses because feelings change like the wind) but instead compelled by the living hope and joy that we have in Christ!
In using the law first and then presenting the good news, don’t be afraid to share your ‘testimony’ too. “Jesus showed me how sinful and deserving of wrath I am through my transgression of the law of God, but how loving and glorious he is when he died on a cross for my sin.” Perhaps we could even ask people the question: “What do you think, could Jesus be the only hope for the world?”