Today's lectionary wrapped up a story that got started over the weekend, one that I'm sure we're all reasonably familiar with. Jesus has continued his journey through the country of Samaria, which was typically frowned upon by the Jewish people. To say that the Samaritans and the Jews didn't get along would be understating it. They had some real personal issues. So typically Jews would travel around Samaria, rather than through it. But Jesus is above all that, so he sits and waits.
While waiting at a well, Jesus meets a woman who is drawing water in the middle of the day, arguably the worst conceivable time to carry heavy jugs of water. She does this because she is ashamed, outcast, and left out of her community. She has a reputation, one that Jesus is eager to point out and confirm. "You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband."
What would you do in that moment? Your biggest secret outed by a prophet? Would you run? Hide? Swear? Deny? Sin does it's best to stay hidden, and when it gets exposed like that it can have some pretty nasty effects on our soul. But the woman at the well, she would have none of that. She takes a different approach.
She tells everybody how awesome Jesus is.
This is unexpected to say the least, but it also has some unexpected outcomes. In our reading for today, we hear that "Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I have ever done.'" (John 4:39) She has had an experience with Jesus, and she's told everyone about it. They see something different in her, or at least I imagine they would have to. If she was drawing water at high noon, I'm guessing most of the town already knew what she had done. That's not the miracle, the simple receiving of gossip information. The miracle is the forgiveness that she meets in Jesus.
Pretty soon though, the town stops relying on her witness and starts to see Jesus on their own terms. "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world." (John 4:42) The woman at the well had an experience, told the town about it, and now they are having their own experiences. This is, no matter how much we try to complicate it, the essence of sharing the good news.
So what experiences have you had with Jesus lately? Have you found forgiveness for something you were struggling with? Have you seen him at work in a particularly difficult situation in your life? Maybe he just showed up with a fresh word you need to hear. Whatever experience you've had with Jesus, share them with others. Tell the whole town! Let them see it in your face and hear it in your voice that this Jesus is the real deal, that you've really met him. Pretty soon, they'll be finding Jesus all on their own because of your witness.blog comments powered by Disqus