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.”
John 4:39-42 ESV
Many Samaritans heard the woman’s account of Jesus and sought him out. He stayed with them for 2 days, and after that, it was no longer the woman’s testimony that compelled them, but it was the experience they had with Jesus, hearing his words and seeing him face-to-face. It’s true, unfortunately, that the testimony of women at that time was regarded as less credible than that of women in this culture, and this may be why the Samaritan people went through the trouble of voicing that their belief was not based on the testimony of a woman but based on their personal meeting with Jesus.
As a minister of the gospel, though, this should be the response I hope and pray for every time I share my testimony with someone or even share the gospel with them. That, after meeting Jesus for themselves, hearing his own words in Scripture, they would say, “I no longer believe in Jesus because of what you said about him, but because of what he’s said about himself!” In ongoing discipleship, or in a one-time chance to talk to someone in passing about Jesus, my hope should be that Jesus reveals himself to them, not that they just emotionally connect to a story I tell.
Jesus, would you supernaturally open the eyes of people with whom I share your good news, so that they see you. Don’t let them rest on my experience of your goodness, but be moved by your own words and saving work in their hearts. Take out evil desires in my heart that want to say, “That person believes because of me!” Help me desire to hear every person say, “You said some things that pointed me to Jesus, but it’s because of what Jesus has said and done that I believe!”
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.