Think for a moment that you are a witness in a courtroom. You’re called to the stand to give testimony on how you’ve responded to evangelistic opportunities that God has placed in your life over the years. What does that testimony look like? What does that testimony sound like? How does it make you feel? Are you able to recall chances to share the love of Christ with others that you let pass by because it was inconvenient or uncomfortable
That was me for years, and I don’t mean years back but more like recent years. Many times I’ve felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to witness or help someone and I gave in to fear. I balked. Eventually, after you make the same mistake or the same decision over and over, you begin to wonder why. What was I afraid of? I’ve come to believe that when we turn away from the chance to share Jesus with someone by telling our story, it is a great indication that we don’t fully understand the concept of God’s grace. Meaning, it’s usually because we don’t think it’s impactful enough or it doesn’t measure up or it’s just not worthy of being told. The Bible tells us, though, in Psalm 139 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The New Living Translation tells us in Ephesians 2 that we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. We weren’t created by accident or without purpose so we can be certain that our story is worth telling.
For fun, let’s go back to that courtroom but instead of you, we will call the Samaritan Woman to the stand. That woman that Jesus met by “accident” in John chapter 4. When the Samaritan Woman met Jesus at the well, she had no idea the star witness she would become in this trial of evangelism. First of all, Jesus wasn’t “suppose” to be there, now was he? This would be considered an anomaly in biblical times as Jews despised Samaritans so much they would never have traveled on that path. Yet there He was, in a town we wouldn’t expect to see Him in talking to a woman we wouldn’t expect Him to be talking to. This interaction, rich with all its facets, is where she testifies before our court.
She testifies to the grace of God when Jesus met her exactly where she was in life. She was just a sinful woman, performing her daily routine of getting water from Jacob’s well. When He began witnessing to her about the living water and how it would quench the soul for all eternity, she wasn’t exactly quick to pick up His message and she definitely wasn’t quick to pick up on who He was. Isn’t that how it usually works when we first begin sharing the love of Christ with someone? It takes time….and patience. I can recall now, only twenty-five years later, that I was invited to a youth group event when I was in the tenth grade. I can’t tell you anything about it other than the fact that I was there, physically there anyway. It wasn’t until five years later that I came into a relationship with Jesus. I wonder though, what if the guy who invited me to the youth event hadn’t? What if that was my only chance and I wasn’t “quick enough” to accept Jesus as my savior? When talking with the woman, Jesus was ever so patient though and when she finally embraced the reality of who He was she left her valuable water jar and immediately went to tell everyone in town. I remember after I accepted Jesus as my savior, my friend and I would go up and down the halls of my dormitory at Ramstein Airbase in Germany telling everyone else they should do the same. It was so exciting.
When the woman realized that Jesus knew of her sins, it was clearly uncomfortable at first. Once the conviction set in, however, the excitement followed. I imagine the reality of knowing she was living in sin, yet still being pursued by the God of the universe had to be an emotional rollercoaster of excitement. The weight of the moment set in quickly realizing she was forgiven and free. She didn’t go home for weeks or years to practice crafting her testimony or wait until she had taken Christianity 101 through 901 at the local church. She didn’t wait for Jesus to come and speak to her a second time telling her what appointed times she should go tell others of her encounter. She left her water pot and went to tell the town, John chapter 4 tells us.
Her testimony is unclouded, her testimony is corroborated and her testimony is convincing but above all else it was simple. That’s what makes her a star witness. What is your story? Have you passed up chances to share your faith or what God has done for you? Have you forgotten that you are fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose? Are you waiting until it’s just perfect before you share it? Remember our story is perfect because He is perfect, not because we tell it well. Revisit John chapter 4 and see if God might remind you of the enormity of His grace and restore the joy of your salvation. Then get on the stand and testify!