Summary: We see within Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well a lesson on how to present the gospel. Let’s look at how Jesus interacted with her and what we can learn from it.
We see within Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well a lesson on how to present the gospel. Let’s look at how Jesus interacted with her and what we can learn from it.
1) Be willing (vs. 1-9).
• Be willing to be inconvenienced (vs.6). “Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well”. If we are willing to be inconvenienced we will see the Holy Spirit at work. We are told it was noon. Typically no one came to draw water at the hottest point of the day. So this woman coming at this hour was unusual. And Jesus, as tired as he was, took advantage of this unusual opportunity. We will encounter situations that will seem unusual. I’ve had situations where I’ve ran into someone and the HS tells me to take advantage of this opportunity. We don’t run into people by coincidence; we don’t have chance meetings. We may encounter people during the most inopportune times. What will we do? Let the opportunity pass by because we don’t feel like getting involved in the conversation? Or will we say, ‘your will be done, Lord’? I’ve been guilty of letting an opportunity slip away because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. When I do the HS convicts me. I’ve had times where I would be driving and come across a person and I knew God wanted me to stop and engage them but I kept driving by. Sometimes I was willing to be inconvenienced and I would turn the car around and go back and experience the opportunity to be a blessing in someone’s life. We miss out on blessings for them and for us when we are unwilling to be inconvenienced. If we want to be a good witness for Christ we are going to need to be willing to be inconvenienced.
• Be willing to associate (7-9). There had been hostility between the Jews and Samaritans for centuries. Kind of like a Hatfield&McCoy thing going on. Samaritans were “half-breed” Jews who intermarried with the people of the region who were brought there by the king of Assyria during the exile of Israel. Normally, Jews would not have been willing to travel the route that Jesus went. Palestine was 120 miles long with Galilee to the north, Judea to the south and Samaria in the middle. It was easiest when going from north to south or vice versa to go through Samaria. But because of the longstanding feud the Jews would take the long way around to avoid having to deal with the Samaritans. Jesus would have none of it. I’m sure his disciples weren’t too happy when they realized where Jesus was going. Further yet, when Jesus sent them into town to buy food I’m sure they weren’t too happy about that either. We’re not told but hopefully they encountered some friendly Samaritans so they could have their predisposed prejudices dismantled. Jesus’ willingness to associate with this woman actually “broke” three ethical standards. First, she was a woman and it would be frowned upon for a Rabbi to associate with a woman by herself. Second, she was a Samaritan and we already know why that would be a problem. And third, she was a sinner, and we know Jesus got some flack from the religious leaders for hanging around with sinners. But Jesus was willing to dismiss all those barriers in order to present to her the truth that would bring her freedom. This woman probably could’ve dropped dead carrying her water back to town and no one would care much. But Jesus saw her in a different light. That’s how we need to be. Who’s your ‘Samaritan’? Who’s the type of person you’re unwilling to associate with? The poor person? The rich person? The black person? The white person? The person with mental issues? The homosexual? The addict? The convict? No matter what race, background or status someone has, if the Lord wants us to go and share the gospel with them we should go. Who cares what someone else may think of us doing so? Who cares if it will tarnish our reputation to be seen with certain people? This is the message of salvation we’re talking about. People are dying and going to hell. Let’s put a stop to our pride and prejudice and love everyone. Rom. 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. If we are going to win people to Christ we need to be willing to associate with anyone.
2) Be alluring (vs. 10-15).
• Draw them in (vs. 10-12). “I have living water”. Jesus started with a practical statement, “give me a drink”. But it was leading to a spiritual application. If we can use a literal item to highlight a spiritual truth it can register with people on a greater level. Like if we are with someone who is a person of means and they have a lot of possessions they might treasure. We can use that as a segway into talking about heavenly treasures that are far more valuable and more worthwhile to obtain. We need to be able to say something that would be intriguing to people; something that will get their attention. This woman, along with most everyone, knew the importance of water for survival. Jesus is saying, “You know how important it is to have water, you’re willing to come out at the hottest point of the day just to get some. Well, I’ve got something better that just plain ‘ol water; I’ve got living water.” He would definitely have her attention with this. “I was on my honeymoon in the Bahamas when a man walked up to me and said, "Would you like to buy some cocaine? You can tell everyone how much you really enjoyed the Bahamas." After I said "No!" and got over the shock of that man’s boldness, I wondered how Jesus would have responded if someone came up to him selling drugs. Later that day, someone else came up to me selling drugs and that gave me another chance to share Jesus with them in a most creative way. After he told me that he had the "good-stuff", I asked him, "What have you got?" "Cocaine!” he said. I responded with, “Is that all you have? I’m disappointed! I was hoping you would have something better than that. You see, I’ve got the real thing! What I have is all natural, pure and very powerful. And it makes me feel great all day and all night. And get this, it may be illegal in some countries, but not in this one, so you can’t get arrested for having it! By this time the man was very curious and asked me what this incredible "stuff" was. I said, "I’m talking about Jesus! It’s awesome what he will do for you when you get him inside of you! No drug in the entire world is as good as having Jesus in you." The man stopped smiling and got this real serious look on his face and said, "I want what you have. How do I get it?" This person knew what to say to get his attention. We need to draw them in.