Asking questions is always good especially if we want answers. John 4 tells a story I often call “Soul Winning 201” – I always called John 1:29-51 “Soul Winning 101” – Point out Jesus, Invite to “Come and See” … but I digress. 201 is here in John 4 – Be intentional, be engaging, be listening, be inviting, be revealing.
John 4:11 – Jesus has just “coincidentally” met a Samaritan woman at a well. So, nothing Jesus does is an accident. In v4 he had to go through Samaria. Most Jews going from Judea to Galilee went AROUND Samaria, but Jesus had an appointment. He sent his disciples to the convenience store, and Jesus waits by Jacob’s well till this woman shows up and he asks for a drink. But it’s more of a directive, he gently says “give me a drink”. That word is in an imperative tense. That was a bit radical. And the woman responds rather shocked, “how is it that YOU (JEW) ask me (Samaritan Woman) for a drink?” – Sort of an “excuse me?”.
That’s question 1 – good question. Jews called Samaritans, “dogs”. So, she wants to know, “hey, you Jew, why are you talking to me? Why are you telling me to give you a drink?” And let me read between the lines here, Jesus’ response is sort of that “this was just an ice breaker, but I have something better for you, for you than I’m asking from you. Living Water“.
Then that prompts question #2 – “Sir…” Oh ok now, we have gone from “you Jew” to “Sir” that word is kyrios = Lord – A shift is happening. She liked the sound of Living Water, but then says, “you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep…” But the next word is unexpected – I would expect how – but there seems to be a shift in her question – “Where do you get Living Water?” Very interesting, she doesn’t ask “how” but “where?” Why? Because even if he HAD a bucket, she knows this well, it’s good, but it’s not LIVING WATER.
Then if you read her question #3 because so, “who ARE You?” – She says, “you aren’t greater than Jacob. He dug this well himself, and he gave it to us, so who are you and where is this water?”
And Jesus basically says… “I have a different source, a different product, and it ALSO is FROM ME and FOR You. And Jesus says, “Drink THIS water, and a) your thirst will be quenched b) the source will spring up within you, and c) give you eternal life!
Wow, and so she begins to open her heart, mind, soul to the “Well Provider”, and the questions stop, and confession begins.
- I don’t have a husband
- I see you are a prophet
- we worship God here
- I am waiting for the Messiah
- I am looking
- I am seeking
And Jesus says, “I Am He” – Oh my my the answer is in front of you. Then v28 says “the woman left her water jar and went to town and told the people”. She got a big drink didn’t she? She wasn’t thirsty any longer. She wanted others to know. She invited others to know – and she immediately is involved in Soul Winning 101 – “Come and See a man who told me everything… could this be the Messiah (decide for yourself but I believe)…” And then v39 many from that town believed
Questions are good when looking for answers. So, a question for those of us who know Jesus and interact with those who do not:
- Do you recognize seekers?
- Do you argue or engage the real issues?
- Do you welcome or judge, invite or reject, condemn or seek to rescue?
- Sometimes people don’t respond. Sometimes they need some time to process, sometimes they will reject – but do we keep the lines open?
Interestingly, Jesus knew his disciples wouldn’t be open to this so he sent them to the STORE before this appointment commenced. Does Jesus include us or exclude us because we won’t believe he can do it?
A quote to close –
“The thing that taxes almightiness is the very thing which as disciples of Jesus we ought to believe he will do. We impoverish his ministry to moment we forget He is Almighty.” – O.Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest – 2/27)