By Shelly Hendricks
The Power of One
A loud squeal echoed off the cliff and floated towards the ship making its way toward the harbor. The noise came from a large heard of swine feeding off in the distance. A strange looking creature hiding in the trees had apparently started the disturbance by throwing rocks at the pigs. He continued to agitate the swine as they screeched their disapproval. The man responsible for this commotion was normally found across the way at the graveyard, where he made his home among the tombs. His pillow was a tombstone, his friends were corpses, and his social life was dead; he was certainly not the kind of guy you would want to run into in a dark alley at night.
His family and friends had abandoned him many years ago, but his life had not always been this way for him. It was several situations that finally drove him to depression, bitterness, and frustration. One defeat lead to another, and before he realized it, he had opened himself up to evil spirits. His problems continued until he was so out of control that the townsmen put chains on him. Nevertheless, the demon powers in him were too strong, and he would break the fetters to pieces. The twelve-step program didn’t work for him. He tried other things as well, but still he remained out of control. He ripped his clothes off continually, so the community finally banished him to the tombs near the seashore of Gadera. He was a wreck emotionally. The doctors, counselors, family, friends, and society had given up on him. It appeared that he was a hopeless situation. Some said he was a lost cause or a basket case. So they hauled him off like a wild animal in a cage and let him go in the graveyard—he wouldn’t hurt anyone there. So they left him; he was worthless to the city and society.
As time went on, many stories were told about the wild man in the tombs. He lived without clothes, slept in the tombs, and ate with the pigs. When there would be a burial the town people would come out and carefully survey the graveyard for this wild man. They would see him off in the distance running and cutting himself with stones. The shrill, piercing noises that came out of this man would cause them to flee from his dwelling place. He was a wild man, and they just left him alone.
As the ship came closer to shore, the wild man noticed someone was invading his territory. He quickly ran from the pigs over to the tombs. He had reached the outskirts of the tombs when he noticed a number of men stepping off of the ship and heading his way. His began to rehearse the negative ideas Satan had buried in his mind. “Here are some more people to reject you, make fun of you, and forsake you.” The man prepared for the finger pointing as the locals always found a way to tell visitors about the wild man that lived in the tombs. The man decided not to wait for the visitors to walk by the tombs; he would run up to them and scare them with his appearance and frantic gyrations.
Within a moments notice he was running rapidly towards the crowd. As he drew near he noticed a young man step to the front of the group. The wild man’s eyes met the young man’s eyes. As the man continued running his wild demeanor seemed to dissipate, and he continued to gaze into the eyes of this man in front of the group. The demoniac saw something in those eyes that he had never seen before. Compassion, caring, and understanding seemed to flow from his eyes right into the wild man’s soul. Within seconds the wild man fell at Jesus’ feet and began to worship him.
The locals were speechless and could only gasp in surprise as they observed this deranged man worshipping the man called Jesus. Screaming voices inside the man interrupted his worship, however.
One spoke out and cried, “Why have you come to torment us before our time?”
They continued pleading and begging for permission to be free to inhabit the feeding swine instead of being cast into darkness. It only took one word from the Master and these spirits left the man and entered the swine. The swine reacted by running off the cliff and down into the sea. Once again demonstrating the destructive path that an evil spirit will take a person down.
Those in charge of the swine were devastated at the loss of their two thousand pigs, and they ran quickly into the city to spread their disapproval of Jesus. While they were spreading their evil report, others watched as this wild man, now fully clothed, sat at Jesus’ feet with a sound mind. Their response to such a great miracle is inconceivable. There seemed to be no rejoicing, excitement, or congratulations from any of the local people. Their only visible response was fear. They were afraid of the wild man, living among dead people, tearing his clothes off, and breaking chains. Then after the man had been delivered from the legion of demons and had put his clothes on and was sitting at the feet of Jesus, in his right mind, the people were still afraid.
That sounds a lot like people in the world today. A guy can go out and party, get drunk, become violent, stay out all night, and become irresponsible and people will say he is okay—he is just a party animal Then this same guy can come to Jesus and get his life transformed by being born again. He starts going to church, reading his Bible, and worshipping the Lord enthusiastically, and people become afraid of him. Look out, he goes to church all the time. People start acting like they are scared of you. Do you know why? Because they are not familiar with the supernatural power of Jesus Christ, and it is foreign to them.
This young man who was sitting at the feet of Jesus was shocked to hear that Jesus would be leaving. Although he had just met Jesus not more than thirty minutes ago, the young man insisted on following Him wherever He would go. He felt that he owed his life to Him, for without Jesus he would not have had a life. Before Jesus, the tombstones were his pillows and the graveyard was his bed. A new day, however, had dawned in his life, and he wasn’t ready for the sun to set on this dramatic change he was experiencing.
Jesus sensed the crowd’s fear and frustration towards Him, and He questioned their value system. They deemed a heard of swine more valuable than a man’s life. He knew the city wouldn’t accept him, so he turned from the crowd and made his way back to the boat. The enraged crowd began to shout out derogatory remarks at Jesus. They yelled, “Get out of our town and go back to where you came from. We don’t want your kind around here.” Jesus ignored their shouts although they dug deep into his spirit.
The disciples followed close behind Him wondering where the journey would lead to next. The former demoniac followed Jesus as well. Jesus turned to face the crowd and looking into their eyes He sensed their need of Him, but opposition and misunderstanding stood between them. He thought of the people in this country that needed healing, deliverance, hope, and joy. He wanted to provide these things for them, but the people were in no condition to accept them. He needed someone to stay and tell them about the good things that God could do for them. He quickly turned to his left and glanced at Simon Peter and shook his head no.
He mumbled a few words to Himself about Peter: “He can’t do it, he will clash with the people.” His eyes cut to His left and James and John came into His view: “Sons of Thunder are not what they need. Judas, maybe Matthew, no, none of these will do. I need all of them with me, but I do need someone to stay and tell these people about the good things that I can do for them.
The young man following close behind Him interrupted His thoughts.
“Jesus,” he spoke enthusiastically, “I would like to go with you.”
A light began to shine from Jesus’ eyes. He whispered, “This is the one I need.”
He gently touched the man on the shoulder and spoke with authority as He looked into his eyes. “Young man, you can’t go with me.”
“But Jesus, you have totally changed my life. I am indebted to you. Let me follow you.”
Jesus smiled and acknowledged his gratitude. “I have something I need you to do besides follow me.”
“What could be more important than following you?”
“Go to your house, family, and friends and tell them about the good things that God has done for you.”
“That is all you want me to do?”
“Yes, but I want you to do it everyday. Tell someone everyday about the good things God has done for you. Tell the people at the market, at the synagogue, in the streets and villages; tell everyone you meet about the good things God has done for you. Continue to do this, and I will return shortly.”
I wonder if Simon Peter was thinking what some of us might be thinking right now. That is right. Admit it. You are wondering why Jesus would leave this ex- demoniac to try and turn this whole city around.
Thirty minutes ago this guy was known as a stripper that hung out with pigs in the tombs. Now Jesus gave him the awesome responsibility of changing the whole city’s negative attitude toward Him to a positive one.
This guy hadn’t been saved an hour. He hadn’t had a Bible study, a new Christians class, or even been taught how to witness to someone. He didn’t even know everything about Jesus, and yet he was going to lead the town to believe in Jesus?
Instead of questioning the guy’s credentials, why don’t we just follow the story and see what can happen when someone just obeys Jesus’ word and goes and tells the good news.
Committed to Tell the Good News
The young man committed himself to the cause and purpose. He waved goodbye as the ship sailed away. As he turned to face the crowd, he heard the shouts of the people, relieved that Jesus had left their land. He ran towards town to begin his mission for Jesus. He went to his parent’s house first. As he burst through the door he could see the shock on his parent’s face as they beheld his countenance.
“Son, is that you?”
“Yes, Dad and Mom, it’s your son.”
“What happened to you?”
“It is a miracle. I met this man named Jesus. All that I remember is running to Him with an uncontrollable desire to fall at His feet and worship Him. He cast all of the evil spirits out of me. He freed me from insanity. He gave me clothes to put on and a reason to live. He has truly changed my life.”
“Where is this man, son, I want to meet Him?”
“The city people made him leave, Dad, but He will be returning soon, and He has commissioned me to tell others about the good things that God has done for me.”
Mom, Dad, and son all embraced, lifting their hands and thanking God for this notable miracle.
“I must go, Dad.”
“Where are you going, son?”
“I must follow the command of Jesus and go and tell others about the good things that God has done. I am going over to my brothers and my sisters and then I need to run by the market and tell my friends. It feels great to have my mind back again.”
The next day following the miracle, the young man was in the synagogue telling the good news. A man named Jairus listened intently to the story told by the young man.
A gainsayer spoke up, “I heard that this man caused a whole heard of pigs to be killed.”
“That’s not true,” the young man said, and he quickly explained the situation. “The pigs died because of the evil spirits that were in me. He cast them out of me, and they asked for permission to go into the swine. Would you rather that He had let them go into the people?”
The crowd mumbled, “No, no, no.”
“He changed my life and there are many other miracles He can do for many of you. One day when you need a miracle, don’t forget about this man called Jesus.”
Standing at the market holding herself up by a cane was a feeble lady, not old in years but weak from loosing blood continuously for over eleven years. She was on her way to the doctor and was prepared to spend the last bit of money she had to find a cure for this terrible blood disorder. As she passed a fruit stand, she saw a crowd of people and wondered what the group was so eager to listen to. Stopping as close as she could to the group, she sat down to rest and to listen for a moment. The voice she heard was full of joy and excitement.
“That’s right. I was the guy that was hanging out in the tombs. I had gone crazy and was full of the devil. But like I was saying, when I met Jesus, He changed all of that. He cast the demons out, and He gave me my mind back and a brand new life. You need to meet him. He can heal any
The woman sitting in the back of the group stood to her feet and listened more intently.
“That’s right he can heal any disease. He’s a miracle man, and He’s going to be coming back to this city soon. You’ll continue to hear me tell of the good things that God has done for me until He arrives, then you can see for yourself.”
“He’s coming back soon?” The woman whispered to her self, “miracles and healing? If this last doctor can’t help me, then I have no other choice but to find Jesus. I need the kind of miracle this man is speaking of.” She slipped away from the crowd, turned the corner and made her way down the street to the physician’s office. Thirty minutes passed and she found herself walking home without a hope of ever being cured. With her last dime spent and the doctors shaking their heads in utter despair, she realized the finality of her condition. Her only hope depended on Jesus’ return to her city.
As she turned the corner of the building, she glanced down the road and saw the bright young man bounding from one street corner to the next. He still seemed excited about Jesus. He appeared to be telling everyone he met about his encounter with the Messiah.
Days passed, then the news arrived from the shores of Gadera. A few people ran into the city and reported that a man named Jesus and a boatload of men would soon be arriving. The crowd eagerly rushed to the shore. By the time the ship became visible on the horizon, the shore was full of people of all ages eagerly awaiting Jesus’ arrival.
Simon Peter, standing near the bow of the boat, quickly reported to the others the size of the crowd. John leaned over to Jesus to express his opinion concerning those waiting on shore. He observed that the crowd seemed to be excited about their arrival. There didn’t seem to be any anger, discontent, or fear among the people. This was definitely a change from when they had last departed from this shore. Some wondered and even possibly asked Jesus, “Have you noticed the crowd seems so receptive and different than when we left? What changed them? Why are they willing to receive us now? The last time we were here they were scared, demanding that we leave. Why the change?”
I can see a smile spread across the face of Jesus as His eyes targeted a man in the crowd. He was at the front of the group waiting on shore. Well dressed and smiling enthusiastically, he clapped and lifted his hands excitedly, anticipating Jesus’ arrival. Jesus recognized him as the man
He delivered from the tombs.
“Who is the man in the front, clapping his hands?” Simon eagerly asked.
“Oh, that is the man from the tombs,” Jesus replied. “You mean the guy that had lost his mind and was full of demons?” Judas questioned.
“That is him!” Jesus assured them. “He has made quite a change. You disciples, listen closely. When we get to shore, you will find that all of the people that are gathered on the shore came out to see us because of that one man. This one man has influenced the whole city! Do you remember what I told him to do?”
“Yeah,” James answered, “you told him to go home.”
“Go home and do what?” Jesus inquired.
“Go home and…oh yeah, tell his friends about the good things God had done for him.”
“Do you see the crowd? He not only told his friends, but he also spread the news throughout the whole city. Look at the difference in the whole city’s attitude because he let them see the good things I could do for them.”
The ship came to rest on the shore. Jesus stepped onto the shore as the waves lapped about His sandals. He made His way through the crowd that surrounded Him. The first man to meet Him, waiting beside Wild Willy (the man delivered from demons), was Jairus, a ruler of the local synagogue. Wild Willy introduced him to Jesus, and in moments they were on their way to Jairus’s house to help his twelve-year old daughter that was deathly ill.
As soon as they reached the city, the crowd continued to surround Him, and it seemed that there wasn’t any more room to get another person close to Jesus. Nevertheless, an apparently weak and frail woman pushed her way through the crowd. She inched her way closer to Jesus until she was within reach of Him. Others rudely pushed her aside, and she lost her position. With Jesus journeying towards Jairus’s house, the task and plan she devised seemed impossible. She determined to get close enough to Jesus to touch Him. Her valiant effort continued until she saw his white garment within arms reach again. She knew she might not get this close again, so she lunged at Him in desperation, trying to touch the border of His garment. As she fell to the ground, she felt the hem of His robe slide through her fingers; she had touched Him! She felt a warm sensation begin to flow through her body. She felt well again for the first time in twelve years. Others pushed around her and stood silent absorbing the virtue that flowed through her from Him. No one had acknowledged that she was healed, but she felt different and knew things had changed in her body. Just one touch and she was whole.
Jesus stopped. Simon urged, “Hurry up, Lord. Jairus’s daughter is dying.”
Jesus turned and looked at the crowd and said, “Someone touched me.” Simon muttered to the others, “That is the understatement of the decade. Jesus, the people are all around you; many people are touching you.”
“This touch was different. They touched me, hoping for deliverance. This person expected something to happen when he or she touched me. I felt virtue leave my body. Who was it that touched me?”
Without hesitation the woman fell down and told him the story. Jesus smiled as she revealed the story. He told her that she was healed. How she was healed amazed everyone: Jesus told her, “Your faith has made you whole”
As the crowd rejoiced, Jesus turned to his left and smiled at Wild Willy. He had made an impact on another life by obeying Jesus’ command to tell others about the good things God had done for him.
Jairus’s pace was frantic. He urged Simon to convince Jesus to hurry. While they were waiting, a servant found Jairus and told him that his daughter had died. He began to weep until Jesus took him by the hand and spoke words of faith and comfort to him. “Your daughter is not dead, only asleep. Take me to your house.”
As they journeyed through the streets, the crowd continued to follow them all the way to Jairus’s house. Upon arriving, they were once again informed of his daughter’s death. Mourners filled the house and their weeping could be heard in the streets. Jesus quickly surveyed the situation and spoke with faith and authority: “Your daughter is not dead, Jairus. She is asleep.”
Mourners as well as others began to laugh and snicker at such a statement. Jesus ignored their jests and took those with faith into the room with him and shut out the doubters. Speaking just a few words to the daughter, she arose from her bed and began to speak to her parents. Doubt was dismissed and faith was exercised. Jairus gave Jesus a handshake that turned into a hug and quickly thanked Him for this miracle.
Simon put his hand on Jairus’s shoulder and asked him, “How did you hear about Jesus and His power?”
Jairus looked across the room and pointed to Wild Willy. “You see that guy over there with the big smile on his face.”
Peter looked up, “Yeah, I see him. The one that is talking to the mourner?”
“That’s him,” Jairus said with a laugh. “He’s probably telling that mourner the same thing he told me?”
“And what was that?” Peter asked.
“Oh, the good things that Jesus has done for him. That Willy has gone all over town, telling people of the great change God has made in his life; it never gets old to him. He didn’t have a life before. He lived with pigs in the tombs as an outcast from society, not to mention that he had almost completely lost his mind and was full of the devil. What a change Jesus made in him. Without Willy I would have never known about Jesus, and my daughter wouldn’t be living today.”
Accept the Challenge
Hello? Is anyone home? Have you gotten the message yet? Jesus took a maniac and made him a missionary. He wasn’t a preacher, evangelist, teacher, etc. All this man did was fulfill the one simple request that Jesus gave him: “Go and tell others about the good things that God has done for you.” By obeying this one command and taking it to another level by not just telling his friends, he was able to pave the way for Christ’s return to Gadera. Not only did he return, but a reception, second to none, also greeted Him.
Luke records that the whole city came out to meet him. This was quite a change from when Jesus had left the first time. Maybe they misunderstood Jesus’ methods of giving the wild man his life back. Yet after seeing the change in this man over a period of time, not only did they accept him, but they also waited anxiously for Jesus’ return.
Jesus had touched this wild demoniac, and in less than an hour had given him the large responsibility of affecting a whole city. The only training he received was a short command from the Lord. “Go and tell others about the good things that God has done for you.” He not only listened, but he also obeyed the command and spread the good news wherever he went. He did not use an outreach team, flyers, bands, or crusades. It was just one man with a real story of how Jesus changed his life. Likewise, let’s be bold and tell others about the good things God has done for us.
I hope that everyone who reads this book will be baptized with the same boldness and thankfulness that this wild man had. What could we do if not just one but all that have been touched and changed by the Master would begin to tell the good news? Could we affect an office, a work place, a neighborhood, a city, a town, or a community?
This wild man convinced the city without the power of being filled with the Holy Spirit. In the dispensation that we live in today, we are not only touched by Jesus, but we are also filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses. Have you received the Holy Spirit? Have you been witnessing? Have you been telling the good news? Your story of the change He has made in your life can give hope to others and can bring many to Christ. I believe that the disciples were obsessed with telling the good news after Jesus ascended into heaven. That is why Acts 17:6 says that the disciples had “turned the world upside down.” The truth is the world is upside down, and when the church does it’s part to turn the world upside down, then the world will be right side up!
Where did this shy, bashful, say—nothing Christianity come from? Do you think Paul had conflicts with the enemy because he stood around, hoping that someone would ask him about Jesus? I think not. He marched right up to the places where people worshipped every known and unknown God and preached Jesus to them. He observed their behavior and at the appropriate time, without an invitation, stood up and preached about the unknown God and let them know who He was. He was bold and unashamed of his Master.
If God can change a demoniac into a one man outreach team that changed a whole city, then what can God do through the church that is in the earth today? The Holy Spirit has empowered you to do the work. Change the world!
The pop rock star, Michael Jackson, sang a song in the early 90’s entitled, We Are Here To Change the World. Likewise, God has saved us from sin, so that we can change the world.
You might ask, “How can we change the world?” It is by sharing the good news and letting God change people. Come on church! The bride of Christ needs to get busy getting individuals ready for that great marriage feast in heaven.
Search Exodus, and you will quickly find a meek and humble man named, Moses. He was living in Nowheresville, Desert, but God knew exactly where he was. God also knew where His people, approximately 2 million Jews, were located; He had heard their crying for a quick deliverance from Egyptian bondage. What would God need to deliver this multitude from a nation that had ruled them for almost 400 years? There were no men of war among them, only common laborers. How would they be delivered and when? There was no military plan of attack. As a matter a fact, it all started one day with a talking, burning bush. After that conversation, God took one man and His plan and brought deliverance to 2 million people. He didn’t need swords, weapons, or military maneuvering; He just needed one man. God taught Moses the power of one with God. Moses learned the lesson so well that on one occasion, when God decided to destroy Israel, he stepped in and told God that He would have to kill him as well. His relationship with God saved a whole nation—that is the power of one.
The Philistines knew Samson to be a one man wrecking crew—as long as he let God use him. One man with God and a jawbone defeated one thousand Philistines. It was one man that received enough courage from the Lord to go and tear down the altars of Baal. He also rallied the people to defeat the Midianites with some horn blowers, making a lot of noise and others, breaking pitchers and shining lights into the blackened sky—that That is the power of one.
Jael took the ability and wits that God had given her and coaxed a man into her tent. She gave him some milk, and used her innocence to make him feel comfortable enough to go to sleep; she then drove a nail about the length of a ruler through his head and delivered Israel from King Sisera—that is the power of one.
Hanna prayed and fasted until God opened her womb and the nation of Israel had born to them their first and great prophet, Samuel—that is the power of one.
Surely you remember the story of the teenager, David, who decided he would not stand by and hear someone defy God. So he strapped on his leather bag that he used to hold stones, held his sling firmly in his hand, and marched out to fight the biggest man in the land, while the army of Israel stood back and shook in their boots. Why would this young man even try to face this mighty foe? How did he even expect to have a chance against this man of war? Because he realized the power of one with God. There hadn’t been anyone there when he defeated the lion and the bear. The sheep were the only audience then. The hills rejoiced to see the victory and the clouds clapped together as the enemy fell. It only took one small stone to bring down the Giant of Gath, Goliath. Because God directed that one stone from David’s sling, a whole nation was delivered—that is the power of one.
Have you so soon forgotten that great man of prayer, Daniel? He didn’t have a whole church backing him in prayer when they threw him in the lions’ den. If I remember correctly, he was the only one in the lions’ house and the only one that is mentioned praying. The prayer of one not only delivered him from those ferocious wild beasts but also caused his adversaries to be consumed by the same lions. This compelled the king to write a decree to all people, nations, and languages that declared the God of Daniel to be an awesome, living God who is steadfast forever. He also acknowledged Him to be a deliverer that rescues and works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth. The whole nation’s attitude towards God changed— that is the power of one.
Surely we cannot bypass the unique prophet, Elijah, that prayed and the heavens refused to yield water for three and one half years. Later, his seventy-eight word prayer brought fire down from heaven on the altar and proved that Yahweh was the one true God of Israel. This brought that contest of the ages to a close. Baal and his 450 prophets were utterly defeated and everyone else dropped to their knees and cried out that the Lord is God. Then that one man prayed again and the heavens opened, led by one cloud the size of a man’s hand. Then, the rain began to descend on the earth. Do you get the picture? One man prayed and the heavens closed; he prayed one prayer, and fire fell from heaven; he prayed again, and the drought ended, and the rain fell in
abundance—that is the power of one.
The list could continue, if we so desired, of men and women that chose to join hands, hearts, and spirits with the awesome God of the heavens, so that they might make a difference in the world, country, state, city or town in which they lived. It is no different today. God is still looking for one to join him in the mission of reaching others through the power He chooses to display through men and women. If we can only realize the power of one, we will see the mighty revival we long for.
The challenge at hand is great and overwhelming to some, but God has empowered all of us to affect our community by the testimony of what He has done for us. There is power in one, that is, one with God. We live in a blessed day for the church and the modern day believer. We have more tools to witness with and to spread the gospel with than any other generation before us. Yet there are times when we sit back and feel helpless in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. One of the most powerful tools available to the believer seems to be overlooked many times. It is simply our personal testimony. No one has a testimony like you. Jesus saved you. He changed your life in a dramatic fashion. No one can tell it like you can, so go and tell it. You are only one, but one can lead many to Christ.
We find a perfect example of this in Scripture. John tells the story in the fourth chapter of his Gospel. Verse four sets the stage when Jesus told them that he had to go through Samaria. When they entered the city it was near lunchtime, and Jesus told the disciples to go into the town and get some lunch. Have you ever wondered why it took twelve men to buy and carry thirteen lunches? Why did He send them all, while He stayed at the well? He had a lesson to teach them. He wanted to show them the power of one.
Not long after the disciples turned and left, a woman approached the well in the heat of the day. Jesus sat by the well and waited for the woman to draw nearer. When she was within a few feet of the well, He addressed her with a simple statement: “Give me something to drink.” The woman was taken aback because He spoke to her; this was taboo since He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Jesus didn’t see the social barriers, only the need at hand.
As He spoke to her about spiritual things, she tried to change the subject. Nevertheless, He drew her attention back by saying, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10). She thought He was speaking of natural water. After spending some time with her and revealing His knowledge of her situation, she began to focus on the spiritual. Jesus instructed her about whom she should worship and how. His short time with her transformed her life. (Isn’t amazing! What we take a lifetime to mess up, God can change in a few moments with Him.) She was so amazed that He knew about her life and situation that she left the natural water pot behind and ran into the city and told all them about the good news.
This one woman with a bad reputation, but a new outlook on life, ran into the city and spread the good news about the Christ. Her challenging and compelling words were: “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
The believers in our day need a baptism of boldness to share the gospel, the good news. We should challenge people to come and see. “Jesus changed my life, come and see what he can do for you.” She went throughout the city, unashamed to tell anyone and everyone. By this time, the disciples had returned with lunch. When they tried to give Jesus His lunch, He informed them that He had been eating food of which they knew nothing. He explained that his food was doing His Father’s will. Then he began the object lesson in verse thirty-five: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh Harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” While Jesus was speaking, the woman from the well had convinced the city to come out and see Jesus. Jesus was not looking at a wheat field when He gave this illustration; He was looking at the Samaritans coming down the road ready to be reaped. It didn’t take four months. He ministered to the woman, and she went out and told the city. In just a short while, she now had many other Samaritans coming out of the city to see and hear this Man that had changed her life.
We live in a world today that is in dire need of finding Jesus and receiving the knowledge and experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God’s promise in Joel 2:28 began to be fulfilled in Acts chapter two on the Day of Pentecost. When the crowd questioned what this great outpouring was all about, Simon Peter (the man with the keys to the kingdom) stood with the other eleven apostles and quoted Joel’s prophecy and preached the gospel to them. “In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17). It happened then and it still continues today. God has a harvest for the church to reap in the last days like no other harvest in history. Many souls have heard the gospel preached but have yet to be filled with God’s great promise of the Holy Spirit.
Looking back at the story of the woman at the well, we find that she was so overwhelmed that she left her water pot behind. In a short amount of time she was able to convince the city to come and see Jesus the Messiah It was one woman that influenced Samaria—that is the power of one.
Don’t forget that Jesus told the disciples before they journeyed to this city that He had to go through Samaria. Why was it so important for him to go to Samaria? He knew there was one that could make a difference in that city.
It is the same today. One person’s life affected by Jesus Christ has the power to change an entire community. In order for that to take place, someone must be willing and must be filled with the zeal of God to go and follow the commandments of Jesus.
We must go and tell the good news, spread the gospel, and give a testimony. If one person can affect a whole city, what can a unified group of believers do?
Forget the old excuses: “I can’t get anyone to help me with outreach” or “I am the only one that will go out on visitation.” Just learn the power of one. Remember: none of the individuals in the Gospels who were affected by Jesus’ touch had the indwelling Holy Spirit. Yet they boldly and effectively spread the good news. How much more effective could the church be, if we would only realize the power that dwells in us? If a Samaritan woman, after just one touch from Jesus, could convince an entire city to seek Jesus, what could zealous, Spirit-filled Christians do in their communities today? There is power within you; there is power in one.
Accept the challenge! Start today. Below are a list of things you can do to share the good news. Try your best to do one of these things today or tomorrow. Check it off and then do another one the next day. Continue to do one every day, and before you realize it you will find yourself spreading the good news every day. Then when Jesus returns in the clouds, we will have a great multitude waiting for him!
Tell one of your friends at school or work about your conversion, and the change it has made in your life.
Invite someone to lunch, and then tell them that you have something you want to share with them. Give them a brief story of how your life is different since you turned your life over to Jesus!
Make an effort to get to know your neighbor. Go introduce yourself to them. After you have broken down the barrier, share your testimony with them. Start by saying, “John, the person I am today is nothing like what I used to be. My life has changed in such a positive way.” Then begin your testimony.
Carry some of your church’s business cards with you at all times. When you are at a restaurant, a bus stop, a grocery store, etc., hand a card to the waiter, the clerk, or the individual next to you and say, ” I want to invite you to an exciting place where you can find joy, peace, and happiness.” Or say, “I would like to invite you to a place where lives are changed for the better every week”.
The above article, “Expand Your Vision,” is written by Shelly Hendricks. The article was excerpted from Hendricks’ book Evangelism: God’s Heartbeat.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.