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Apr

Jesus’ Unique Strategy to Bring Light to Those Around Him by Pastor Mike O’Connor

Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  John 4:7

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been thinking about how to love our neighbors, and then we have been getting to work doing it.  

          • We have been reaching out to those afflicted by this terrible virus.
          • We have been praying for and supporting those in healthcare and emergency services who are truly at the front lines.
          • We have been engaging neighbors, making sure they are OK.

(Parenthetically, thank you for the many who have “checked in” on Mary and I and for the many notes and practical expressions of care and concern.  We love you; we thank you.)

Loving is giving.  We affirm that as Christians.  God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son… John 3:16

Jesus, in the passage that follows, uses a unique strategy to bring salvation to an unlikely recipient.  Let’s read from John chapter four: 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

Jesus had to pass through Samaria.  Usually, Jews traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem and back traveled east and followed the path of the Jordan River to avoid traveling through Samaria, for as our passage says, …Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  But Jesus had to because he had a divine appointment.  Perhaps you know the story that this woman had been married five times and now was living with someone to whom she was not married.  Usually, water was drawn in the morning or evening.  It is speculated that she was getting water at noon, the hottest part of the day, because she was an outcast.

Jesus begins his interaction with this woman by asking her to do something for him.  Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  John 4:7. He would offer her living water.  She would receive him as her Messiah.  

There is so much to the story, so many lessons for us as we observe and study how Jesus spoke to her, but it all started when Jesus asked her to do something for him.

Most often, we like being the one who gives.  We want to extend ourselves.  We want to show we care.  Certainly all of Scripture affirms the impulse to give—think the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  Jesus wanted to give her something also—himself.

But the interaction started when he asked her to do something for him.  Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  John 4:7

As we have opportunity to interact with our neighbors more, to have a different level of conversation with co-workers, we don’t need to be the heroes, we can admit when we don’t have all the answers.  Perhaps a way of “earning the right to give”—in this case, gospel truth, is to ask for something that our neighbor or friend would be happy to do for us.

Jesus was eager to offer the woman at the well his living water.  But first, he asked her to do something for him.  Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  John 4:7

Asking.  It just might open new opportunities to offer the water of life to some spiritually thirsty neighbors and friends.

All grace to you,

Pastor Mike

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