Jesus’ disciples returned to the Jacob’s Well, bringing the food they had bought. They were astonished to see Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman, but too timid to ask Him what it was all about. And she, when they arrived, left her water jar and ran back to the village.
She spread the news of her encounter far and wide. “I met a man who told me everything that I ever did. Come and see Him! Do you think He could be the Messiah?” And before long, streams of people were pouring out of the village to see Jesus.
It’s significant to me that this woman, meeting Jesus and finding that her most private and intimate (and, in that day, scandalous) life details were already known to Him, wanted to get closer to Him and find out more about Him. In describing Himself as the Light of the World, Jesus said there would be two kinds of people– those who come to the Light, and those who hate the Light. And those who come to Him and believe on Him, regardless of their past, are the ones that He will save.
The Gospel is really a story of relationships. You cannot read the New Testament accounts without seeing how many times one said to another “Come and see!” Jesus told the two of John’s disciples that followed Him to “Come and see” where He lived. Andrew found Simon his brother, and told Him to “Come and see”. Philip called Nathanael. And this woman, in her wonder and admiration after meeting with Jesus, became a tremendously successful missionary– bringing many of her neighbors to meet Jesus, and become believers in Him.
Not everyone is called to preach to crowds, to write books about the Gospel, to go to the ends of the earth to convert the heathen. The Gospel is spread effectively by those who have encountered Jesus, and then reach out to their friends. “Come and see….”