John 4:28-29, 39-41, John 15:5
Our devotion today is taken from John Chapter 4. Jesus here has been meeting with a woman at the well who came to draw water and Jesus has been teaching her about himself as the water of life. In other words by faith in him we have life in heaven. And we read these words at the end of their conversation.
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. (John 4:28-29, 39-41)
Years ago when I was a pastor at a church there was a young couple that was taking classes to join the church. They had never learned about Jesus before. They had never learned the gospel, the good news that because of what Jesus has done God has paid for our sins so we could go to heaven. And following the second class, when they had just learned this, they came up to me and started asking me questions about how they could now teach this to their relatives, some of the people in their family. And I thought that’s interesting. We haven’t even talked about evangelism, in other words how to tell people about Christ and what he’s done for us, and they already want to do it.
It shows something about the gospel. The gospel itself creates evangelism. The gospel, when it’s taken down into our hearts and we believe in Christ as our Savior it also stirs up in us a love to bring this news to other people. It’s kind of an automatic impulse in us. Jesus said:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; (John 15:5)
And this is one of the fruits of coming to faith in Christ. This fruit of evangelism. So we see that in this woman in the text with Jesus she runs off to town and has to tell people about the Savior. We see it with the shepherds after the birth of Christ. They go back through the town of Bethlehem telling everybody about Jesus.
So God can use even the smallest voices sometimes to carry out his work. This woman probably wasn’t a real significant person in her community and yet we’re told that many people came out to hear Jesus. In fact, in the book of Acts we’re told that crowds came out to hear Phillip when he preached in this same part of the country.
When I was a pastor I used to once in a while write down some of the different ways that people used to evangelize to spread the gospel. And one of them was a woman that would bring tapes to her work and play them over lunch hour. Another pastor told me about a lady who would sit in the laundromat and just invite people to her church while she was getting her clothes done at the laundromat. Don’t ever underestimate how God might use you and your invitation to somebody. Or maybe just some casual way that you can talk to them about the wonderful message of Jesus.
Sometimes we admire people who are brand new converts to the faith. This woman, there’s no force from Jesus, he doesn’t tell her to go back into town to do this. She just automatically wants to run. We’re told she even left her water pot. Suddenly, everything else becomes secondary to spreading the gospel. And notice this is something that’s a joyful thing. It’s not drudgery, it’s not something that’s hard to have to do. She’s excited to do it.
The evangelistic nature of God’s church in the world is not created or driven by the law. In other words something we feel forced to do or pressured to do. But it’s rather from the gospel, the good news of what Christ has done for us. Think about this lady in heaven there might be some local merchant from her town that because of her invitation ended up believing in Christ and going to heaven. Just think what an interesting conversation that would be some day for her in heaven. The church says “Oh Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.” Amen.