Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." (John 4:42)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Have you ever heard someone's “testimony?” That's when someone tells people everything God had done for them in their lives. But, does what the Lord did for someone else save others? No. It might bring them to hear more about it, as the Samaritan woman's testimony did. She said, “Come and see.” But it wasn't HER word that brought them to faith, but Christ's Word.
Just so, even though we might have the best intentions, telling people what God has done for us won't make them Christians. That only happens through the Word preached and splashed on in Baptism. Now, that doesn't mean you can't tell someone what great blessings the Lord has given you. But it means that, above all else, you should invite them to church to hear the testimony of Christ.
And the testimony of Christ is that He came to save sinners and that He did save sinners. He carried our sins, bore them on the Cross and bled and died for them. And that's an eyewitness testimony by the apostles who saw and heard Jesus.
Here's the thing. If you would be like the Samaritan woman, point people to Jesus. Rather than talk about you, talk about what Christ has done. How he has gone to the Cross and is risen again for sinners. How He washed you, absolves you and feeds you with His own body and blood. Give a testimony, but make it about Jesus! Who He is. What He has done. And invite others to the place where Jesus Himself is: His church, there by Word and Sacrament. And the Holy Spirit will do His work to bring them to repentance and faith, causing good fruits to be produced. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
By grace! This ground of faith is certain; As long as God is true, it stands. What saints have penned by inspiration, What in His Word our God commands, Our faith in what our God has done Depends on grace—grace through His Son. (LSB 566:4)
Reflections for the Epiphany and Pre-Lent Seasons are written by the Rev. Mark Buetow, pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Du Quoin, IL and the Higher Things Internet Services Executive and Reflections Editor. Comments may be sent to the author at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.