Jesus, a Woman, and a Well
There is a woman at a well with a story. Her story gives us another glimpse into this man, Jesus, and how He reached out to people during His season of ministry on the earth.
Here are a few dynamics we see in this story. Jesus intentionally went into Samaria, a place that was racially discriminated against. Jesus went and sat at a well with a woman, in a culture where women were discriminated against. Jesus chose to give His time to a woman with a sinful and broken past, a woman some religious leaders would have condemned or walked by. Here are some other observations:
- When breaking social barriers, not only was Jesus aware of this, I think the woman, who has had some life experience, also noticed He was going beyond lines to reach her.
- Jesus met her where she was at in her current relationship, with her baggage, her heartbreak, her dysfunction.
- Jesus mentioned His identity of someone of importance, which to me, communicated value to the person who had His attention.
- Jesus moved in a supernaturally natural way without emotional hype or mental manipulation.
- Jesus introduced Himself to her, offering to give her something she needed, living water.
- Jesus demonstrated the power of God at work to reach her as He had a word of knowledge, revealing her current and past relationships.
- Jesus went to her root issue without condemnation of her choices.
- Jesus used a private moment, away from His disciples, to mention her personal past and current sin, not shaming her but to reveal His love to her.
- Her response to a loving Savior was trust, it was an open heart to receive, and it was an excitement and a joy that she wanted to share with others.
- If Jesus were to only reach out to the people who had it all together, then this woman would have been overlooked.
- If Jesus were to only reach out to the people who were well known and accepted, then this woman would be passed over.
- If Jesus only reached out to the people who tithed to His ministry, then this woman would have been ignored.
- If Jesus would have called her sin out in front of other people, she may not have opened her heart to Him.
- If Jesus would have only focused on His answer and not her need, she could have felt excluded.
- If Jesus would have only focused on the rules, without caring about showing mercy and understanding for how her past had shaped her thinking and feelings, she may have felt condemned.
- If Jesus didn't approach her with tenderness, being careful with a bruised reed, He could have caused her to reject His salvation.
My prayer today is that God will give us wisdom on winning souls. I pray that we know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, with understanding of who we're reaching, and to what extent we are to share in that moment. Apostle Paul said he became all things to all people that he might win some. I pray we are a people who will find our instructions from the Holy Spirit in each situation. I pray it's the Lord's love that motivates us to reach out to the unlovely. I pray the words we speak are words Jesus would speak for that person.
God is still working on all of us, too. Here are simple effects of a fallen world that need to be worked out of our conscience:
- Control: The human tendency is to gravitate toward self. Self-sufficiency is pride.
- Guilt: The things that would cause us to grieve the Spirit of God when ministering to others include a religious guilt that pressures us to push the rules of righteousness instead of the grace of righteousness.
- Fear: It could be an insecurity, a fear, in us that causes us to shrink back.
- Shame: It could be a shame about how we see ourselves that makes us think we have to make others feel inferior to us.
We don't need to wait until we "arrive" at some place of spiritual maturity before we reach out to people. We need to journey in our spiritual growth, reaching people along the way. As we grow, control, guilt, shame, and fear are weakened, and we grow in humility, grace, mercy, and love. Growing is a process of peace and joy. Growing gives us more enduring results. Growing helps us be effective.
Each story is unique, and each story is about opening the door and letting Christ in. What a privilege to serve Jesus, the Lord of the harvest!