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Ted is an ex-Marine. I guess once a Marine, always a Marine. Right? You know - Halls of Montezuma, Shores of Tripoli, Semper Fi. Since his days in the Corps, Ted's gone on to become very successful in business, but he keeps getting invited back to talk to Marine recruits as an inspirational speaker. And in the process, he tells them about a rescuer who came for him in the Marines and saved him - Jesus Christ. And I love what he tells them - "One thing about Marines - we always go back for our own, and that's why I'm here today. I'm going back for my own."
Those Marines really listen to Ted, because he's one of their own. That's sort of a law of life, isn't it? We tend to listen to our own kind; maybe when we would listen to no one else. Especially when it comes to the rescuer that my friend tells the Marines about. More and more, people aren't going to listen to some "Christian professional" tell them about Jesus - even though their lives depend on understanding Jesus. It's going to have to be one of their own...like you.
Jesus understood that approach to rescuing spiritually dying people. He used that approach Himself in our word for today from the Word of God. Jesus has gone into Samaria to reach the Samaritans, and since the Jews and Samaritans basically couldn't stand each other, how is this Jewish rabbi going to reach them? He's going to send one of their own to go back and get her own - even though she is known for her immorality, her relationships with many men, her string of marriages and divorces.
First, she meets Jesus at a well where she discovers who He really is. Then, in John 4, beginning with verse 28, the Bible says: "Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?' They came out of the town and made their way toward Him...Many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the woman's testimony..." Well, they listened to her when she talked about Jesus because she was one of their own.
That's what makes you so eternally important to your coworkers, your fellow-students, your neighbors, your teammates - you're one of them. They'll be more likely to listen to you talking about a personal relationship with Jesus than to any preacher or evangelist or radio guy. Well, you may say, "but I'm not trained...I've got a lot of problems...I don't know enough." Excuse me, but have you thought about the one Jesus sent as His ambassador to the Samaritans?
See, what qualifies you is two things: you've met Jesus, and you're one of them. He's placed you where you are not just to get grades or get paid or get comfy. He's put you there to take some of those people to heaven with you! How are you doing?
The best one to reach a lost farmer is another farmer...the best one to reach a lost mom is another mom...for a lost teacher, a teacher...a lost soccer player, a soccer player. How about a lost businessman? It will take a businessman, and so on. But so many people die without ever knowing what Jesus could have done for them. They die without a chance at heaven - because the Christian close to them never told what they knew. That is a death sentence by silence.
You don't have to tell them about Christianity, about church, about your religion, or about a list of Christian beliefs. Just do what the Samaritan woman did - stick to Jesus. She just said, "Come, see a Man!" But don't take them to a well - take them to the Cross and show them how much Jesus loves them. Their best hope of heaven isn't some outreach program or some great speaker. Their best hope is you, because you are already there. You're in their world. Be a spiritual "Marine." Go back for your own, and don't leave any of them behind.