However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

Few Jews would take the shorter route through Samaria even if it was a shorter and easier route along the Jordan River. The Samaritans and Jews had been enemies for years and the biggest point of contention was where and how to worship God.

One day Jesus took the short route (John 4) from Jerusalem home to Galilee. John’s account of the story said he ‘had to go through Samaria’. He didn’t have to go through Samaria for physical reasons. He ‘had to go through Samaria’ because someone had a meeting with destiny and he ‘had’ to be there for that.

It was noon when he arrived at the small hamlet of Sychar. All the respectable women of the town where home tending to family. Everyone knew it was cooler and easier to fill the water jugs in the morning. Besides, it was a great time to catch up with the gossip and connect with friends.

So why did Jesus meet the woman at the well at this odd time? She was avoiding people. She was the talk of the town. Married five times, living with a man that wasn’t her husband. We aren’t told how many families she’d broken up. How many children were fatherless because she came into the picture? She’d evidently given up on the concept of marriage after five times and decided to live ‘in sin’ with man #6.

She was a tenacious woman. Even after all she’d been through she still had an edge to her. Jesus asks for a drink and she snaps, “Who are you, a Jew, to ask me for a drink.”

Jesus mentions God and the woman tries to pick a fight. “We Samaritans worship the right way. You Jews are wrong about Jerusalem.”

Okay, maybe that isn’t exactly what she said, but think about how often our first step, when it comes to spiritual things, is to defend our doctrine, theology or denominational affiliation and distinctive.

Jesus dodges the issue. “Worshipping God isn’t about a place, or about a style. It’s about the heart. If you’d asked me I could give you something to fill that huge hole in yours.”

Now he had her attention. Six men. Six relationships. Six chances at being filled and still nothing. You know the rest of the story. After her talk with Jesus she goes into town. Everyone knew her because of her reputation. After her testimony, everyone knew Jesus because of the change he brought into her life.

The enemy lies to us about our Testimony. He tells us that our identity comes from our religious affiliation. (I’m a Baptist; I’m a Lutheran; I’m Methodist) He urges us to skirt the real issues of the heart and concentrate on externals. The Lie: Good Christians are known by their noisy Stand.

The word testimony comes from the word root word meaning witness. It carries with it the idea of a firsthand authentication of a fact, or of evidence of something seen or experienced. Effective testimony is an outward sign of an inner change.

Many believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. It wasn’t polished. It wasn’t backed with scripture and training. It didn’t direct people to a particular denomination or religious persuasion. It was a simple message, Come and See:

  • Come and See the man that knows me;
  • Come and See the man that loves me;
  • Come and See the man that understands me;
  • Come and See the man that respects me (no other man ever has);
  • Come and See the man who is more interested in relationship that religion.

The Truth Statement in the battle for our testimony is this, “Our testimony steers people away from religion and towards a personal, passionate love relationship with Jesus.

PRAYER: Father, I sometimes get so caught up in myself and man-made rules that I forget that all you really want is to have a relationship with those around me. Empower me by your Spirit to refrain from steering people to religion. May my life show others the relationship I have with you. Amen.

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