Educators say that people learn easily by observation. To see someone do something and to try it ourselves creates a good learning situation.
Jesus is a model for a Christian’s life and ministry. By observing His life and work, believers can excel both in life and in Christian work. Let us take one aspect of Jesus’ ministry and learn from Him about being a good witness.
I. JESUS SEIZES AN OPPORTUNITY.
The Gospel writer said, “He must needs to go through Samaria” (v. 4). The expression “must needs” depicted Jesus’ deliberate plans to go through Samaria. To be a witness for Christ, believers need to make deliberate visits.
Jesus sat down at Jacob’s well near Sychar. About the same time, a Samaritan woman came. Jesus and the woman conversed. It was an interruption. Many of the witnessing opportunities of Jesus were unplanned. To be a witness for Christ means to seize the interruptions.
II. JESUS TREATS PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF IMPORTANCE.
Few people treated the woman of Samaria as an important person. She had several strikes against her. She was a Samaritan, a woman, and a divorcee.
The world has its standards of significance for people. To be an effective witness for Christ, everyone has to be important.
III. JESUS REGISTERS A NEED IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.
Jesus talked with the woman about more than water. He wanted the woman to admit her deep thirst for God. People are thirsty for God. An effective witness needs to be aware of that need and to point to Jesus as the Water of life.
Jesus also wanted the woman to face the failures in her life. She had failed in her relationships with men (vv. 16-18). Living together is not something unique to our century. Everyone has failed at some point in life. An effective witness of Christ tells how Jesus can help with the greatest needs.
IV. JESUS PRESENTS A MESSAGE.
Jesus presented Himself to the woman. He claimed to be the Messiah. “I that speak unto thee am he” (v. 26). Becoming a Christian is not seeing if a person can pass a test in theology. To witness means to present Christ.
An effective witness presents Christ and invites a person to open his or her life to Him. Jesus is the message.
V. JESUS RESPECTS THE HUMAN WILL.
Jesus invited the Samaritan woman to open her life to Him. She could have refused, but she didn’t. The witness for Christ needs to respect a person’s will.
The success in witnessing is in the sharing. The results are determined by the openness of a person.
VI. JESUS USES A CHANGED PERSON FOR A WITNESS.
The woman opened her life to Jesus Christ, and she became an immediate witness for Christ. Every Christian is a witness.
The woman gave priority to telling others about Christ. What did the woman come to the well to do? Notice how her priorities changed. She left her waterpot and went to invite others to Christ.
If you want to become an effective witness, study how Jesus related to people. Then practice His principles.
Chapter 4: John 4
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria
Read John 4:1-42.
Most people in Jesus’ country looked down on the Samaritans, but Jesus loved everybody. He treated the rich, the poor, and people of different races all alike.
The woman of Samaria was very different from Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a good man, but he had to believe in Jesus before he could have eternal life. This woman was not good. Jesus knew that she was a bad woman, but He wanted to save her. Like Nicodemus, she too was saved by believing in Jesus.
Jesus let her know that He could give her the water of life – what she needed to satisfy the thirst of her spirit. In the Gospel of John, the word “life” is used at least 36 times. Of these, it is joined 17 times with the word “eternal.” We have learned that Jesus “had life in himself” (John 1:4); that those who believe in Jesus are born again and have eternal life (John 3:5, 3:15, 3:16, 3:36); that Jesus gives the water of life to those who accept it (John 4:14).
She spoke of her own customs of worship. Jesus said that places and customs of worship were not the most important things. What was important was that God is Spirit and people should worship Him as He really is.
Church membership and religious customs alone will not please God. God is never satisfied unless worship is true worship and spiritual worship. True worship must be what the Bible teaches. Spiritual worship must be sincere and according to the Holy Spirit.
The woman knew that Jesus was no ordinary man because He told her everything that she had done. When Jesus let her know that He was the Savior that God had promised to send into the world, she believed Him. She ran back to her village to tell all the people about Jesus. When she told them that the Messiah had come to their town, they hurried to the well to meet Him.
Jesus stayed with them two days, teaching them the ways of salvation. The people said, “We believe now, not because of what you have said, but because we ourselves have heard him and we know that he is really the Savior of the world.”
We must each one believe in Jesus and meet Him ourselves. The people first heard of Jesus from the woman. That was not enough. Perhaps you have heard of Jesus from your parents, your pastor, from a friend. But it is not enough just to hear about Jesus from others or to study about Him. You must meet Jesus personally in prayer and believe in Him as your own Savior.
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
Read John 4:43-54
Have you ever asked Jesus to heal someone? An official asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus did not go to the boy. He only told the father that the boy would get well, and the father believed the words of Jesus. It is a wonderful thing to know that Jesus still has the same power that He always had. We may be healed of sickness just by praying and believing Jesus’ words.
Now answer these questions
1. Read John 4:24 and fill in the blanks. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in __________ and __________.
a) love and reverence
b) Spirit and Truth
c) holiness and love
2. What did the villagers say about Jesus after He taught them?
a) He was a good man who gave water to thirsty people.
b) He was the Savior of the world.
c) He was a prophet who knew all about people.
3. To be accepted by God, you must
a) personally believe in Jesus as your own Savior.
b) be born of Christian parents.
c) hear about Jesus from a pastor or a friend.
4. How did Jesus heal the son of the government official?
a) He sent some medicine.
b) He made a magical charm.
c) He said the boy would get well, and the father believed.