Taking a deep breath, a woman stops, sets down her water jars, and wipes the sweat from her brow as the noon sun beats down on her heavily. The dry, dusty air made breathing difficult and caused one’s palate to taste like the ground’s dust. Her face is smooth and her dark hair falls to her lower back. Her expression is one of despair from a life of disappointments and hardships. As she rounds the bend from where she goes to draw water, her shoulders slump, and her face becomes filled with apprehension because a strange man is sitting at the well during the hour when no one is usually there.
Still, she centers her focus on the ground, proceeds to the well, and draws water. Then, unexpectedly, the strange man turns to her and says, “Give Me a drink.” She notices that the strange man is a Jew, and because she knows that Jews detest the people of Samaria, she becomes defensive and suspicious. She asks, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” The man, with a caring and loving expression, replies, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
With a snicker and a bit of sarcasm, she says to the man, “Sir, You have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep; where then do you get that living water?” The man looks at the well and says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again.” Turning His eyes back to her, he continues in a tender voice, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst, but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Amused, she continues by saying, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw water.” The man tells her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”
She pauses, lowers her head, and tries to skirt the issue saying to the man, “I have no husband.” The man says to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” When she hears this, her eyes widen in astonishment. Removing her hand from her mouth, she says, “Sir, I perceive you to be a prophet,” and both engage in conversation about salvation and worship. The man tells her about how true worshipers must worship God the Father in spirit and truth because God is spirit and truth.
Thoroughly intrigued, she goes on to say, “I know that Messiah is coming, He who is called Christ; when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” The man then stands, extends His hand out from His sides, and says, “I who speak to you am He.” Overwhelmed with joy, she went into the city and told people about the man, the One who testified and told her about all the things she had done. Because of her testimony, many of her fellow Samaritans believed in the Messiah, the Christ, known as Jesus.
This beautiful story from John’s gospel, though embellished somewhat for some minor storytelling, gives us a perfect example of how we can share the gospel today with anyone. One important fact not mentioned above is that Jesus made it a point to go into Samaria, something Jewish people avoided at all costs. The Scripture says, “He had to pass through Samaria” (John 4:4), meaning Jesus had a divine appointment to keep. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit prompts us to go into specific neighborhoods or to a particular home to share the gospel, we should have the attitude of Jesus in that we must go. Jesus gives us a perfect example of how we are to show and tell the gospel.
The way many Christians tend to share the gospel is by starting with a straightforward question: “Can I tell you about Jesus?” More often than not, the answer is “No.” In speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus engaged in general conversation to meet her on common ground, i.e., “Give Me a drink.” She was defensive, apprehensive, and sarcastic, but Jesus remained lovingly calm and engaged. As the conversation progressed, the woman’s intrigue grew to a point where the conversation shifted away from the physical world to the spiritual and opened her eyes. As a result, many others started to believe too.
Another point to consider is Jesus did not hesitate, unlike many Christians do today. They hesitate because of self-infused anxiety that they do not know enough about Scripture or what if they make a mistake or worse, what if the person rejects them. First off, if you are born again in Christ Jesus, you know enough to share the gospel with others and tell them about what Jesus had done in your life. As far as mistakes go, face it, we are all human, and yes, we all make mistakes, but, in time, the more we study the Bible and share the gospel, the more fluent we become at answering questions.
That said, no matter how well we tell others about Jesus, some will say yes, others will say no. However, we must always keep in mind that the gospel’s convicting power is the Holy Spirit’s job, the willingness to go and share it is ours. Whether people accept or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord is not our responsibility; it is theirs. By sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, we show obedience to God’s calling for all believers, and the blessing is the same no matter how someone who hears the message chooses to respond.
Therefore, be encouraged to seek opportunities to share the gospel as prompted by the Holy Spirit no matter in what neighborhood, no matter which house, no matter the person for God has set for you a divine appointment with someone who needs to hear the good news. Let us conclude with the beautiful words of Apostle Paul. He wrote:
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”Romans 10:14
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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”