John 4:27-42; 1 Chronicles 16:7-43; Zechariah 5
As the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman continued, she realized that Jesus could be the Messiah! She rushed into the city to tell the people of Samaria. “’Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ Then they went out of the city and came to Him.” (John 4:29-30) It’s interesting how she put this. She talked about Jesus knowledge, but never talked about Jesus judging her past action. Perhaps she had run-ins with others who knew her or her reputation in the past – meetings that left her feeling shamed or dirty. Now however, she was excited and refreshed. The Samaritans, even though they were hated by the Jews, still understood the coming of the Messiah. When she talked about Jesus, the people of the town, many who still scorned her, were compelled to listen and actually went out to the well in hopes that Jesus would still be there. They were so excited about what they heard that they invited Jesus to stay with them. The disciples were most likely appalled – not only did they walk through Samaria, not only did Jesus talk with a woman and then with the people of the city, but they were going to stay there for the night? Two nights as it turned out? They might have seen it as the equivalent of spending two nights in the finest accommodations on Skid Row. Jesus knew what He was doing though. As the Samaritans heard the teachings of Jesus, they responded. “Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’” (John 4:42) This is the essence of evangelism! One person has an encounter with Jesus. They get so excited that they take the message of Jesus to friends and acquaintances. They may believe because of the change in the original person or they may be skeptical and willing to listen. Once they encounter Jesus, though, they are ready to follow also. Sometimes those of us who have followed Jesus for a long while forget that excitement we had when we first believed. Sharing our faith has become more of a chore than an explosion of excitement. Perhaps we need a fresh encounter with Jesus to recapture that joy and excitement of when we first met Jesus. Maybe then sharing with others would become so natural and exciting that we would realize that it’s a privilege to talk about our relationship with Jesus and not just a spiritual chore.
Oh Lord, restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Remind me of the excitement I had when I first began to follow You and let me share that joy and excitement with others.