“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.”” (John 4:42, ESV)
I imagine that the above verse is the crucial one in John 4.27-45, and perhaps of the whole story of the Woman at the Well. The testimony from the Sycharians is a splendid example of coming to faith in Christ, made all the more so because of its collective nature; it was a group of people that came to understand that Christ was the Messiah.
Their testimony is that the have heard and they know. The verbs are rendered in the perfect tense in the Greek, indicating something that had happened in the past and was true in the present and would be true into the infinite future. The people had heard Christ testify and they knew/know/will know; it is an accomplished fact in their lives. Rarely is there such a clear statement of faith to Christ’s word in the gospels. Martha’s great statement of faith just before Lazarus is raised from the dead is similar: “She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”” (John 11:27, ESV). I believe is in the perfect tense as well, indicating a settled decision, much like the Sycharians here.
The Sycharians who come to faith have heard for ourselves…and we know that Christ is the Savior of the world. Important words, those; they open up the vista of salvation to anyone who will come. The Sycharians realize correctly that, even though they are Samaritans, hated by some of the Jews, that salvation is open to them, indeed, as they say it is open to all. Christ is the Savior of the world.
I am happy that the Sycharians realized and experienced this truth. I am happy that they spoke it. It bears directly on my own life, for this means that Christ is the Savior of me. Thank you, Sycharians, for your testimony.