They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.’ (Jn. 4:42)
The Samaritans had first believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. What exactly they believed about Jesus, we don’t know. At the very least they must have believed that Jesus was insightful. Only later, only after they had “heard for themselves,” did they come to “know” that Jesus was “truly the Savior of the world.”
Each one of us needs to make the same “progression in faith” that these Samaritans made. We can be introduced to Jesus through the faith of our parents and friends. We can go deeper into faith through our mentors and being in a community. But there comes a time when we must encounter Jesus for ourselves, must decide for Jesus ourselves, and must claim that Jesus is our own personal Savior.
Why is this progression so important? Because we will hit a time that rocks our world; shakes our foundations; throws us into despair; and threatens to destroy whatever faith we do have.
When life brings us to our knees, we must have the depth of faith that the Samaritans came to profess. Their faith was no longer about what the woman had said, no longer hearsay, no longer second hand. Their faith had become grounded into their very souls, and that’s where our faith must be rooted when things become tough and trying in our life.
For our own faith to be rooted into our souls, what do we need to know? We need to know that we can’t save ourselves, that we need a Savior, and that His name is Jesus. We need to know that without Jesus we’re dead people, lost people, hopeless people. We need to know that He’s not a person who lived long ago, but the most real Person in our life; not someone we’ve heard about or know about, but Someone we hear from and know.
I encourage us to pray about our own faith. Given how difficult life can be, do we have the depth of faith that we need? Can we say, with the Samaritans, that we “know” Jesus is our Savior?
- What has been your own path to faith? Who were those who first introduced you to Jesus? What did you learn from them? What did you see in them?
- During the hard times you have faced, what happened to your faith?
- Where is your faith now? How firm is it? How deep is it? Do you have enough faith to guide, hold, and keep you through whatever you are facing? If not, are you willing to ask Jesus to strengthen it?