by Reba Crill, District Consulting Coordinator, Upper Pennsylvania
Jesus went out of His way to go where people were and accepted them as they were. In John 4, Jesus went to a place hostile to people of His ethnicity and spoke to a woman who was an outcast in any culture, including her own.
The Scripture says that “Jesus had to go through Samaria” (emphasis mine). Geography did not dictate that Jesus travel through Samaria to get from Judea to Galilee, His destination. It was the shortest route but not the only route. In Jesus’ day, the Jews, because of their disdain for the Samaritans, normally took the longer eastern route to avoid Samaria. But Jesus intentionally went through Samaria in order to share the Good News with the people there.
Jesus engaged the Samaritan woman and actually would have been declared unclean by other Jews because He interacted with her. No wonder the disciples were amazed to find Jesus conversing with her.
Remarkable – Jesus chose a place alongside a well in a rejected land to an ostracized woman to announce His identity: “I am the Messiah.”
Suddenly, the significance of the moment swallowed up the significance her life. “God is here! God has come! God cares for me!” she may have thought.
Even though she was a member of this mixed race and known to be living with a man who was not her husband, Jesus reached out to her. The Gospel is for every person, no matter his or her background, social position, or past sins. Therefore, we need to be willing and prepared to share this Gospel anytime, anywhere, with anyone.
In John 4:39-42, we find one person’s conversion is contagious. Many believed because of her witness, not just because of what she said, but now they had faith also. They knew Jesus was the Savior of the world.
Jesus said earlier that He was sending out His disciples to places where others had done all the hard work. So what does that mean? Often, we are the ones who plant. Do not get discouraged when it seems that planting is all you do. Planting is just as important as harvesting.
Maybe you sacrificed to guide a Stonecroft Bible Study, but later someone else reaped the harvest. Does it matter who does the harvesting? No, because it is God who draws that person. It is God who guides us as we live in obedience to Him.