“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world'” (John 4:39-42, NIV).
This series of devotions, Untold Tenets, captures its lessons from lesser-known and sometimes overlooked scriptures that are embedded within or immediately following a well-known bible story or biblical text.
John 4:1-42 contains the familiar story of the Samaritan woman or the woman at the well. In this story Jesus spoke the renowned “living water” declaration: “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (vs. 14). Jesus also explained to the Samaritan woman that “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (vs. 24).
Because of the spiritual sagacity of the living-water and Spirit-and-truth-worship declarations, what may go unnoticed in this story is the strategic relevance of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well near Sychar, Samaria, to His post-resurrection Great Commission to His disciples: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEB).
After His death and resurrection in Jerusalem, Jesus made several post-resurrection appearances to His disciples in Jerusalem and in Galilee. It was in Galilee that Jesus appeared to His disciples (some believe the “more than 500” that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:6) and directed them to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
All Christians are very familiar with the Great Commission. In fact, you could say that Christianity is organized around the Great Commission. Almost everything we do as the Church is in response to the Great Commission.
But, in our zeal to perform the first part of the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples,” we sometimes omit the second part, “I will be with you.”
“Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” (I Corinthians 9:22-23, NLT).
In 1 Corinthians 9 the Apostle Paul describes in various ways how those who work in the ministry of the gospel have the right to share in the blessings of the gospel.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8, ESV).
Isaiah had a vision of being in the presence of God in His heavenly temple.
Isaiah became fearful because he was a sinful person standing in the presence of a Holy God.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV).
In these verses that are known as the Great Commission, Jesus articulates to His disciples their mission just prior to His ascension into heaven.
Jesus simply tasks them with the job of making more disciples. And, to accomplish this task, He said He would be right there with them (and us) to help make more disciples.
The accomplishment of the Great Commission is a process we call evangelism. We develop many strategies and programs for evangelism. But, evangelism is not intended to be as complicated a process as we make it. And, it’s certainly not meant to be done only by ministry professionals such as pastors, evangelists, and youth ministers.