“Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.’”
John 4:42 (NLT)
In my last church one of the members of the church was serving in The Coast Guard at the Clearwater Air Station. He would tell me about his work as a mechanic on the HC-130 aircraft and then as a Flight Navigator on the same aircraft. I was always very interested in his work as I have been interested in planes all my life. I enjoyed his stories because they were a part of who he was and conveyed what was important to him. Then one day he invited me to come over to Tampa and join him for his last day of training in the state-of-the-art simulator. My experience alongside of him in the simulator that day brought all of his stories to life. It gave them new meaning and gave me a greater depth of understanding and connection.
The passage of Scripture we will be looking at this Sunday is a little bit like that. Jesus' encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well is a very important story. As soon as the conversation with Jesus is over the woman goes to tell her story. No hesitation, no questions, no filter, she just tells her story. We do this when we are excited about something in our life. We want to tell people what our experience has been. We want other people to be interested in our story. So we share it. As the woman at the well went back and told the story of her encounter with Jesus, people were interested. They went to see for themselves what she was so excited about. That’s what good stories do to us.
It was when the people went and saw Jesus, heard him speak, and experienced him for themselves that they declared, “Now we believe!” You see there was something that took place when the woman’s story mixed with their own experience of Jesus that led them to believe. This is the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People first experience Jesus through our story. They hear what Jesus means to us, what the Church universal means to us, and what our local church means to us. Because they experience our story and hear what Jesus has done for us, people are more receptive to what Jesus can do for them. Jesus uses our story to tell His story.
I look forward to sharing more about this with you in worship this week. As you pray for your none or done this week, ask God if they are ready for you to share your story with them. Maybe they are ready for you to invite them to church? Can’t wait to see you in church!