“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” After the two days he departed for Galilee.” (John 4:39–43, ESV)
The powerful testimony shared by the woman was so compelling that many believed. It is staggering to see these Samaritans ask a Jewish Rabbi to stay with them. Jesus consents and stays with them for two more days. Imagine the questions and the hope that Jesus is the Messiah that will tell them everything they need to know and understand. After carefully listening to Jesus and investigating his claims, many more believe. These Samaritans declare that although their belief began with what she had shared, they now believed because they had heard for themselves. They are convinced that Jesus is the Savior of the world. After remaining with the Samaritans for two more days, Jesus departs for Galilee.
Who am I? Why do people label me as if they really know me? Is self-identifying something that I can actually do with any confidence? Labels, titles, and true identity can be challenging and complicated. We struggle to understand why we are the way we are and why we do the things we do. This encounter starts with their identity defined by gender, race, and behavior. Ultimately identity is defined by God and believed by the people. We all begin in the same place, human and sinful under the same penalty, death. However, our creator that defines our identity also pursues his creation and offers a new identity through the person and work of Jesus Christ. When we cross over from death to life, we move from enemy to friend, foe to family, pauper to royalty. Jesus changes our identity when our life is found in him. Jesus' identity is savior, and when he rescues us from sin and death, our identity is saint. What is your true identity?