Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’
Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’ John 4:10, 13-15 (NIV)
The episode recounted above is from John’s gospel. It tells us of a time when Jesus was passing through Samaria and meets a woman at a well. The story highlights a number of prejudices which were apparent at the time – that Jews did not normally choose to associate themselves with Samaritans, and it was highly unusual for a man to speak to a woman in the way Jesus chose to. In fact many Jews would make the longer journey around Samaria rather than have to go through it. Having broken the taboos, Jesus does not waste the opportunity. He asks the woman for water and in the ensuing conversation he reveals spiritual truths.
Look at John chapter 4 and notice that Jesus also reveals things about the woman and the relationships she has had (five husbands and living with someone unmarried). Jesus does not condemn her in any way, but continues to use the situation to open up spiritual truths.
The result is that the woman returns to the town and tells the inhabitants about Jesus and they come out to see for themselves. Another unusual thing happens – Jesus stays with them for two days. Here was a Jew who didn’t mind associating with Samaritans and even was prepared to stay with them. The result of this cultural break-through is amazing –
And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’ John 4:41-42 (NIV)
How do you view evangelism? The big event, meeting, tent? Jesus didn’t wait for the big event, he used everyday situations to speak of spiritual things to needy people. Use your everyday situation to speak of spiritual things to those around you and to those you meet.
(This is the first in a series of four on ‘Meeting Jesus’)
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