Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” – Jn. 4:39 NIV
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Although Samaria, was supposed to be the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the population there was not homogeneous since the bringing of foreigners into the city by King Shalmaneser of Assyria who used them to replace the Israelites residing there and deported them into captivity in exile – 2Kgs. 17:1-41. Though they eventually returned through the Grace of Jehovah, there was no record of the imported residents of the land leaving, neither did both occupants of the land ever agree to see themselves as one. The discrimination lines remained very thick and visible and was there even till the time of Jesus Christ, with the Israelites, understandably being the group that did not desire any form of recognition for, or unity with their former captors. It will naturally be difficult to forget that these were people who not only took them into captivity but also inherited their land. It was therefore more of a surprise to the Samaritan woman when Jesus asked her for water as she quickly reminded him that she was Samaritan and he being Jew should not be making such requests of her – Jn. 4:7-9.
The response of Jesus Christ, offering her living water, further got her puzzled as she questioned how he intended to draw the living water that was being offered, when he does not have anything to draw the water with, after all even their fore-fathers who dug the Well needed to draw the water to access it – Jn. 4:10-12. Further explanation from Jesus made her realise that he was not referring to the natural water, and realising the opportunity before her, she promptly asked to be given this water – Jn. 4:13-15.
The water that Jesus Christ was referencing was an opportunity to view her life from the spiritual perspective with the possibility of resolving long standing life puzzles and this became obvious when, in deciding to give her the water, he asked her to invite her husband, a request she could not meet because according to her, she did not have any. This was despite the fact that she was co-habiting with a man at the time. Though she did not reveal this aspect of her life, Jesus Christ in offering her the living water that will make her thirst no more, revealed this, in addition to several aspects of her life that she must have thought were known to her alone – Jn. 4:16-18. The revelation must have been so profound and convincing that it not only made her conclude that she indeed had a prophet before her but also used the opportunity to clarify some other doctrinal issues. She definitely had a testimony to share and this she did not stop sharing, more because of the effect that the living water she just drank had on her.
She instantly dropped her water jar and went to town inviting all to meet someone who she was suspecting could just be the long awaited Christ, since that was whom he told her he was, and most likely in her desire to have many of her people also have access to this living water. He had told her everything about her life and this remained her testimony – Jn. 4: 22-26; 28-29.
The scripture for today’s Devotional is the reaction of her fellow Samaritans to her testimony. They came to him in their numbers initially because of the testimony of the woman, that she was told everything about her life, and each of them after meeting him believed in him also, and they also had testimonies of their own after they had taken the additional step of inviting him to stay with them and believed his many words nay teachings and also confessed their belief with their mouth. The foundation of their belief was further strengthened by their own direct experiences during their close interaction with him. They had been successfully infected with the “belief bug”. What a great experience it must have been for them. The Samaritan woman within a very short period of her meeting and accepting Jesus Christ, had succeeded in harvesting many more souls into the kingdom of Jehovah and this, she will definitely be rewarded for.
Many Christians today are not in a position to replicate the success of this Samaritan woman, with regards to winning souls into the Kingdom. This is simply because;
- They probably do not have a testimony to give. This is not because Jehovah did not wish to provide testimony opportunities for them but because they did not position themselves sufficiently to benefit from his many possible miraculous interventions. Jehovah will never stop desiring to make such miraculous interventions in the life of His people but unlike the Samaritan woman, the lack of belief in the possibility of such interventions is the reason why such testimonies are absent. It is not surprising that many claim to be Christians, but do not believe in miracles, after all, even the people from the same town with Jesus Christ did not believe in him and the result is that they could not benefit from his miraculous ability because of their unbelief – Matt. 13:58. The one who claims to be a Christian with no testimony of his great works is actually not a true Christian as such testimonies are part of the weapons with which the Christian achieves victory over Satan – Rev. 12:11
- They chose to keep their testimonies private. Deciding to keep testimonies of the great works of Jehovah private by beneficiaries of these acts is fast becoming the order of the day as many believe they, or someone they know became targets of greater spiritual attacks due to their act of making such great works known to others, and thus choose to keep silent to avoid those battles. As true as this may be in terms of human reactions, it is a subtle victory for Satan as such testimonies would have also served to save many from his clutches just as it is simply a way of denying Jehovah of the glory that He deserves for such great works (Matt. 28:12-13; Jn. 2:23; Jn. 7:31). Not testifying to the great works of Jehovah in the life of man will always be an action that will make Him unhappy. John as part of the revelation he got on that fateful Lord’s day in the Island of Patmos, revealed that, part of the reasons why those who were clothed in white achieved such fete was because they were able to defeat Satan by the words of their testimonies. Revealing the great works that Jehovah is doing in the life of His people definitely helps others to know and believe in Jehovah, with a positive effect of increase in the number of souls won into His kingdom. That testimony of His great works is not for your consumption only as it must also serve the purpose of winning more souls into the kingdom. A life that does not testify to the greatness of Jehovah cannot win more souls to the kingdom.
Christians must imitate the Samaritan woman who though belonged to a group that was highly maligned believed what she heard, and “infected” many others with her belief, thus bringing them into the kingdom. That is the only way that such will have successfully fed the soul and present it as being well nourished on the judgement day. May God grant us the faith to experience his miraculous intervention and the truthfulness to announce our testimonies in such a manner as to increase the population in the kingdom of heaven in Jesus name. Amen.