Bob Tamasy: The Power Of A Personal Testimony

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever gone to see a movie in the theater that you had no intention of seeing because someone you knew said how good it was? Has there been a time when you bought a new car primarily because someone spoke so highly of it? Did you ever patronize a restaurant because someone raved about it? Or decided to visit a particular city because a friend told you how much they loved it?

If your answer to any of the above is yes, you understand the power of a personal testimony. Every day we’re bombarded by commercials featuring testimonials about products of every kind, ranging from medications and candies to clothing and vacation spots. The impact of a personal testimony is immeasurable.

This is why one of the most effective “weapons” a Christ follower can include in an evangelistic arsenal is the personal testimony. It’s the story of their life before encountering Jesus Christ, the explanation of how they came to Him in faith, and what has happened in their life since then.

We find a number of examples in the New Testament, but none is more astounding than the story of the woman at the well. The account in John 4:4-42 tells of the time Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria, near the town of Sychar. While His followers went into the town to buy food for their travels, Jesus stopped to a nearby well to rest from their arduous journey.

The woman, an outcast in her own town because of her disreputable lifestyle, had also gone to the well to draw water. She couldn’t have anticipated her life-changing encounter with Jesus.

If you’re not familiar with this story, I’d urge you to read the passage for all the details. In summary, the woman was a Samaritan, making the personal interaction with Jesus almost shocking. In that culture, women did not interact with men they did not know, and Jews and Samaritans shared a mutual animosity. So, when Jesus extended courtesy and kindness, she was understandably taken aback.

Asking the woman for a drink, Jesus proceeded to tell her about the “living water” He could give to her. He made observations about her life He couldn’t have known without divine revelation. Amazed by His insights, the woman responded, “‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (John 4:25-26).

That was all she needed to hear, so surprised that she left her water jar behind and ran into the town. She announced to anyone who would listen, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). Curious, many of the townspeople went to see for themselves. The passage says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39).

Others went to hear firsthand what Jesus had to say out of curiosity and became believers but the woman, speaking from personal experience, had piqued their interest. Her testimony had no transformative power in itself, but was sufficient for many people to want to hear more from the man claiming to be the Messiah.

In the New Testament’s book of Acts, we find the apostle Paul frequently giving his testimony about Jesus Christ, even as a prisoner of Rome after being falsely accused by Jewish leaders. Festus, a Roman governor, and King Agrippa were among those who listened to his story. After hearing about Paul’s divine encounter with Jesus through a vision while on the road to Damascus and what had transpired afterward, Agrippa asked, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul’s response: “Short time or long – I pray God that not only you but all those who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains” (Acts 26:28-29).

Nearly 2,000 years later, the same holds true. There is tremendous power in a personal testimony about how Jesus Christ can change a life, even for the most unlikely individuals. Everyone’s story is different, and yet in a sense they are all the same. Perhaps this can all be summed up in a single verse: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

I’m reminded of the simple statement of the man Jesus healed who had been blind since birth. Questioned by skeptical religious leaders, he answered, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25). In a nutshell, that’s a testimony of every person who has placed his or her trust in Christ.

When we discover an excellent new restaurant or get excited about some new technological device, we eagerly tell others about it. We’re “satisfied customers,” right? I wonder: Are we as willing to share the Good News – the very best news – of what Jesus has done in our lives? If not, why?

* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

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