JOHN 4:27-42 (NIV – UK)
The disciples rejoin Jesus
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could this be the Messiah?’ 30 They came out of the town and made their way towards him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’
32 But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’
33 Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’
34 ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying “One sows and another reaps” is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.’
Many Samaritans believe
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’
THE POWER OF TESTIMONY
‘Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony’ (V. 39). Let’s just assess what has happened here. This Samaritan woman has just had an encounter with Jesus at the well and now she has gone into the town to tell others about who she has met – Jesus. Because of this woman’s testimony many Samaritans came to believe in Jesus – they themselves met with him and it was no longer just the woman’s testimony that captivated them, it was Jesus himself: ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world’ (v. 42).
This is testament to the power of personal testimony – through that one woman sharing her encounter with Jesus, many were saved. Whether you realise it or not, the same is true for your testimony – the same power is held within it – the power of Jesus. Sharing your encounter with Jesus with others is perhaps the most powerful thing you have to share – and the most important. It is, after all, a matter of life and death – a matter of being saved or unsaved. Those Samaritans who came to believe through the woman’s testimony were surely immeasurably grateful to her – they had come to know the ‘Saviour of the world’ (v. 42).
Question: Have you encountered Jesus? Have you ever shared that with anyone? How would you put your encounter with Jesus into words?