Jesus has just changed the life of a woman who he met at a well in Samaria. Their conversation has concluded with Jesus revealing that he is the Christ.
The woman, now drinking of the living water that Jesus has offered her, leaves her water jar and heads back to town. She has to tell someone about this man. She has to tell the town about this man! She says to them,
“Come, see a man, who told me all things that I ever did. Is not this the Christ?”
The woman knew. She knew he was the Christ. Was it because he told her everything she ever did? No. It was because when he said to her “You have had five husbands, and the man you are living with is not your husband,” she immediately knew within her that this man knew everything. And she knew that there was only One who would know everything.
The people hear the woman’s story. They come out of the town to meet this man. Her story causes something to resonate within them; they too need to meet the One, the Christ. They too need to drink of the very same Living Water that they see she has tasted.
We’re told that many of the Samaritan’s believed because of the testimony of the woman, saying that “he told me all that I ever did.” That is a great success. But it’s not enough. And thankfully, the people of the town weren’t satisfied with that. They needed to experience this One for themselves.
Coming to him, many more believed because of his word. They tasted for themselves the Living Water that Jesus was offering, saying to the woman,
“No longer because of what you have said, but now we believe for ourselves, for we have heard him and we have perceived that this is truly the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
And this has taken me back to Jesus questioning of his disciples.
He asks “Who do men say that I am?” I am challenged by this. I have found myself challenged for some time. I’m no longer satisfied to marvel at the writings or the words of others about who they know Jesus to be. I try not to use other people’s words unless they are a help to what the Father is already saying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate them and they have been helpful to confirm all the Father is doing in me. They can be an incredible encouragement to me, particularly at times to confirm that I’m not way out there and completely off the wall! They are a huge benefit to me. But they are no help if they don’t tell me that as they eat and drink of Jesus himself, I can too. Like the people from the town, I’m not satisfied to believe because someone else does. I’m not satisfied to live off someone else’s experience of Jesus. It has to be mine. I want to eat and drink of him only!
The woman is clear. “Come.” If they had not followed her, some would have believed but never met Jesus himself. They might have lived off her experience of Jesus. Perhaps we have done that. I know I have. I grew up doing that, living off the experience of my parents, until one day, there I was stood faced with Jesus himself. But there was even more than that. Two years ago, the Father revealed Christ in me, the Bread of Life, in a whole new way. What a monumental change that was!
If those people had not left the town, there would always be that one niggling thing. “We didn’t go to meet him for ourselves, and drink of the same Living Water that she received.” That is an incredible thing. That it’s possible to believe someone else’s experience, but never meet Jesus for ourselves.
And that has made me want to be like the woman too. “Come, see a man.” I’m not satisfied to just talk about Jesus to others. I want to say to them, “You too can meet this man, and his Father and my Father will reveal Christ in you. Come. You can eat and drink of him for yourself.”
I may have posted about this before. But he reminds me of a lot of things. I sometimes forget, or try to move on. And so I like to remind others when he reminds me! And that is why Jesus asks his second question, “Who do YOU say that I am?” Because it’s entirely possible to live believing based on what others say about Jesus. To take what others say and pretend it’s my experience. To pretend that this is the Jesus I know, when it’s really the Jesus someone else knows.
Thank goodness those people in the town weren’t satisfied just to believe because of what the woman said. They went for themselves and experienced the One, and they had their own experience of Jesus.
I know that it’s as simple as asking something the Father will never refuse, and will always answer. “Father, reveal your Son in me afresh.” As Jesus said,
“Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.”
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. The Father is drawing us to reveal Jesus himself in us!