John 4:39-45 NKJV
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 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.”
43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.
Lutherans don’t give personal testimonies in our services, as some Evangelical churches do. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place for personal testimonies in a Christian’s life. On the contrary, the woman of Samaria gave her own testimony to her friends and neighbors, and many people came to listen to Jesus as a result.
But what was that testimony about? Not anything she had done. Not anything she had felt. Not any change in her life or any description of what Jesus meant to her. Her testimony was about what Jesus had said to her. Her testimony simply passed on Jesus’ words. And her testimony also had a purpose: to bring people to hear Jesus for themselves.
It worked. The Holy Spirit used her testimony to begin faith in the hearts of many who heard. Even in those who didn’t at first believe, her testimony was effective at getting people to come hear Jesus for themselves. His preaching then confirmed their faith and became the true basis of it, so that after just two days with Him they could confess, “We know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
The personal testimony of a Christian is good and beneficial, as long as it focuses on who Jesus is and what He has said and done, and as long as it seeks to bring people to the place where the Gospel of Christ is preached by faithful pastors, so that they may come to know the Good Shepherd through the teaching of His shepherds, and so come to confess that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. Let us pray: O Christ, Savior of the world, bless the testimony of Your people, both pastors and laity, and extend the borders of Your Church, that Your name may be confessed in all the world. Amen