“Many Samaritans in that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s word when she testified, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” John 4:39 CEB
Last Saturday following the Five14 worship service Debbie and I went to dinner. We tried a new place we have not been to before. It is a nice Mexican restaurant that featured good typical food, live music, and friendly staff. Usually on Saturday night we spend a good amount of time deciding where we would like to eat dinner. This particular night Debbie knew right away where she wanted to eat dinner. I asked her why she wanted to go there, she said several people had recommended the place and we should give it a try. Because of the testimony of a few people we ended up giving the restaurant a visit. We liked it and may go back. This is the way businesses have gotten business since the beginning of businesses. Most businesses cannot afford big expensive ad campaigns. So, they rely on word of mouth advertising—you and me talking about how much we enjoyed our experience and telling others they should go. In our case, it worked.
This is similar to the story of the woman at the well with Jesus. She had this incredible, and supernatural, experience with Jesus at the well. He told her things about herself that he couldn’t have known naturally. Through his divine nature, as fully God and fully human, Jesus knew that she had five husbands previously and was with a man to whom she was not married. Jesus then tells her that he is the Messiah. He knows more than she can imagine. Because of this revelation, she runs into town and begins telling people to come with her to meet Jesus—the Messiah. One of the most incredible word of mouth ad campaigns in all of history. People went out to meet Jesus in great numbers and believed in Jesus. It says in the verse above, many of them “believed in Jesus because of the woman’s word when she testified.” All she had to do was tell them what happened, Jesus did the rest. She testified, and Jesus justified—made them right with God by God’s grace and through their faith in Jesus as the Messiah. One woman’s testimony about Jesus led to a bunch of people believing in Jesus. Still more believed because they heard Jesus in person.
This is what it should be like for anyone who has encountered Jesus. We should be so moved and changed by the work of Jesus Christ in our heart and life that we cannot stop from telling others. Spreading the light of Christ is the work of Jesus followers. A true disciple of Jesus tells anyone who will listen about what Jesus did for them. We have been talking about having a heart at peace—seeing others as people with needs, fears, and desires as real as our own. If we are seeing people as children of God and people of worth we must make sure everyone knows about Jesus. The person at the grocery store, the person at work, the other parents of my kid’s sports team, the parents of my kid's dance team, my neighbors, my extended family—everyone. Once you have good news you want others to have it also. This is what it means to spread peace—the peace that passes all understanding.
Will you spread peace today? Will you share the love of Christ? You can help others begin to see people as people by having a heart at peace. When you see people the way God sees people, you will begin to treat people the way Jesus treated people. This is your testimony. I am reminded of the words of a song by Big Daddy Weave:
“If I told you my story, you would hear hope that wouldn’t let go.
And if I told you my story you would hear love that never gave up.
And if I told you my story, you would hear life, but it wasn’t mine.
If I should speak then let it be of the grace that is greater than all my sin,
of when justice was served and where mercy wins,
of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in.
Oh, to tell you my story is to tell of him.”
Go tell your story! Go spread peace! Go and testify about Jesus!
This Sunday we conclude the message series The Heart of Peace. We will discuss what it takes to spread peace from a heart at peace. I hope you will join us this week and every week. The best is ahead for St. Andrew’s. I can’t wait to see you in church!