When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” John 4:7-9
Nobody likes a know-it-all. And yet, how common it is for Christians to take a “know-it-all” approach when reaching out to non-Christians. For example, we project an image of ourselves that we wish to have others see, because we say to ourselves: “how will someone come to faith in Christ if they can’t see past my messy life”. Or, we can even do this with the bible. Obviously, we want to share scripture with unbelievers; but how we do it, and our motivation in doing it, is really important. Are we trying to win an argument? Are we immediately pouncing upon bad theology or doctrine to assert our superior understanding of scripture without really hearing what the person is saying? Often, behind a misunderstanding of God or bad doctrine, is pain, suffering, or a genuine question.
The story of Jesus and the woman at the well is so rich with beautiful insights and application, but I want to point out one simple thing: the vulnerability of Jesus. Yes, that Jesus, Creator, Redeemer, Messiah, King Jesus. The first thing he says to her is, “Will you give me a drink?” I think it is astounding that wisdom and power personified admits to a Samaritan woman, “I am in need, can you help me?” This simple act of human vulnerability shatters the cultural barriers between them and opens a remarkable opportunity for ministry. What can we learn from this? Firstly, lets not worry about “having it all together”. We long for unbelieving loved ones, friends, and neighbours to receive the gift of God’s grace in salvation; so why not show them that you also are weak and faulty and in need of this very same grace? Secondly, vulnerability will help others identify with you. When we live behind a veneer of perfection, and knowing all the answers, we inevitably distance ourselves from the very people we wish to influence. Vulnerability can ease the way for meaningful conversation and genuine sharing of struggles and deep questions. At that point you will have a great opportunity to open the scriptures together.
Mission Action Plan: Read John 4:1-45 a few times and consider the ministry of Jesus to the Samaritan woman. Ask the Lord to impress upon your heart this kind of care and compassion for others.
Mission Action Prayer: Lord, I am nothing without you; all I have is from you. Help me to boast in my weakness, that others would see your strength.
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.