“And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
The woman at the well had a meeting with the LORD Jesus Christ. The Man who asked for a drink revealed Himself to be the Messiah, the One she knew was coming. From the conversation she had with Jesus, it was clear that she was not a keep-at-home kind of woman. And He told her everything she had ever done. This is what she went and told the men in the city. One can imagine the men going ashen-faced. And, as Doctor Bob Cook would say, “The men all came tumbling out of the city to see who it was that told on them!” John 4:39 relates that many of the Samaritans believed on Jesus because of the word of the woman.
They asked the LORD Jesus Christ to stay in their village. He was there for two days teaching them about Himself. There is no record that Jesus performed any miracles while He was there. It was during these two days that the conversation in the verses above occurred. The verse above tells us that many more believed because they heard the words of Jesus.
And this is the wonderful thing. It was the words of Christ that had this impact. It’s true that the words of the woman telling the truth about Jesus had an impact. But here the people testified that hearing His words for themselves convinced them. Hearing convinced them. God’s word, His truth, is powerful by itself. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Peter, James, and John had the opportunity to witness Jesus’ glory. In the Transfiguration, Jesus’ clothing became as white as snow, bright in appearance. As they watched in wonder, a voice from heaven gave testimony, “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” Later, Peter related the story to his readers in 2 Peter 1:16-18. There we read, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”
But, only Peter, James, and John saw this vision. Peter tells this story to prove that he had not made this up. But the vision happened only once. And, Peter, James and John were told by Jesus to not even tell anyone about it until after His resurrection. Literally millions of followers of Jesus never saw such a vision. Neither did the other nine disciples. What about all of them? One might think that Peter, James, and John had some advantage because of what they saw.
But Peter goes on to say in 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed…” What Peter meant was there is something more reliable, more firm, more steadfast than a great vision of God! And what is that thing? God’s Word! Peter didn’t tell his readers to seek visions or miracles. He wanted them to see that God can always be believed and trusted for His Word, and on that basis alone.
Deuteronomy 1:29-33 records, “Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; and in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.”
In what did they not believe God’s Word? He told them He would go before them into the Promised Land, and defeat their enemies. But, they didn’t believe what He said. They believed the words of the ten spies that came back to tell them that they could not defeat the inhabitants of the land. God brought them out of Egypt, defeated Pharaoh’s army, lead them all the way to Canaan by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. But they didn’t believe God’s word about taking the land. As a result, they wandered for another forty years before they finally went into the Promised Land.
Believing God’s Word is essential. Believing what He says, without requiring mighty displays of His Person or His power, is called faith. And without faith it is impossible to please Him. As Jesus said in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
We all must listen to and believe God’s word.
O troubled heart, why seek in vain
The balm of rest from earth to gain,
While Jesus waits, your king to reign,
And all your sins forgive!
arise! no more delay;
He calls you now—His voice obey!
The loving words He speaks today,
Oh hear, and you shall live!
He calls again; on Him believe,
His gift of grace thro’ faith receive;
Your truest friend no longer grieve,
But haste your heart to give.
To Jesus come, and at His feet
That precious name with praise repeat;
Oh, trust Him now, and learn how sweet
The peace His love will give.
Refrain (Fanny Crosby)