A First-Hand Faith

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 4:39-45

Today we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, a journey I began with readers of Words of Hope in December 1995. We pick up our readings with Jesus’ encounter with the woman of Samaria.

Introductions can trigger a relationship, like: “You’ll like Dr. Grinder; he’s a great dentist.” Or, “I’ll introduce you to Sue, and you can ask her to go out for dinner.” Or, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done” (v. 29).

Introductions are great, but they are just the beginning. The really critical step is to decide personally about the suggested action: to have the tooth pulled, to go on a date, to make the faith commitment.

“It is no longer because of what you said that we believe,” said the friends of the Samaritan woman, “for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world” (v. 42).

Real faith is not because of what my friends say… what my parents say…what the pastor says…what the evangelist says.

The words of Christian witnesses are critical. The testimony by the woman of Samaria was sincere and convincing. But there is really no such thing as second-hand faith. Never be content with it. All true faith is first-hand faith. Is yours?


We thank you, Lord God, for the testimony of others. We pray that we will never be satisfied with a faith that merely accepts the word of someone else. Amen.