Stonecroft volunteers carry the Gospel everywhere. And because of your labors of love, women learn about Jesus where they are: in neighborhoods, on military bases, at senior living facilities, in workplaces, at country clubs, and in prisons. In all these locations – and many more – women learn that Jesus knows exactly who they are and loves them exactly as they are, even if other people have rejected them.
Jesus’ deep love for us, despite all our flaws and failings, can take us by surprise. John Chapter 4 describes just such an encounter.
Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria and stopped at the village of Sychar. While the disciples went into the village to buy food, Jesus sat beside the well, tired from His journey. Soon after, a lone Samaritan woman came to draw water in the heat of the day. Jesus, knowing the thirst in her soul, asked her for a drink. His request amazed her. Jewish men did not address women, and Jewish people went out of their way to avoid Samaritans.
She questioned His strange behavior. In response, Jesus told her He could give her living water, saying “… those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life” (John 4:14).
The Samaritan woman asked Him for this miraculous water, and He told her to go get her husband. She replied that she didn’t have one. “Jesus said, ‘You’re right! You don’t have a husband – for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!’” (John 4:17b-18).
When she discovered that He knew all about her, she called Him a prophet. But He soon revealed His true identity, saying “I AM the Messiah.” At that time, the disciples returned, and she ran back to the village to tell everyone about the Man who could “possibly be” the Savior of the world (John 4:29).
When the people of her village came to see Jesus, He told His disciples: “… wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest … the fruit … is people brought to eternal life” (John 4:35b-36a).
The disciples surely saw the Samaritans around them. So why did Jesus point them out? Perhaps because until that day, their harvest field was limited to the Jewish people. They had never reached out to anyone else. Samaritans, like the woman at the well, were invisible to them.
What about you and me?
Who might seem “invisible” to us? Who might we unintentionally place “outside” our mission field? Do we avoid discussing faith with people much younger, older, richer, or poorer than we? Do we shy away from sharing Jesus with people of other religions, or those with no religion at all? Do we neglect to take the Gospel to people with a radically different lifestyle or culture?
If so, let’s ask God to open our eyes. Intentionally widening our harvest field could lead to an immeasurably more bountiful harvest.
John 4:1-42; Galatians 3:8-9; Mark 7:25-30; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Galatians 3:26-28; and Revelation 7:9-10
Questions for discussion:
1.) Have you recently had a Gospel-centered conversation with someone very different from you? Describe your experience.
2.) Have you ever been tempted to avoid sharing Jesus with someone because of their outward appearance, wealth, status, educational background, or some other factor? If you are willing, share about it.
Ministry Support Representative