Willow Creek | February 16, 2021
To illustrate, Albert opened the Bible to John 4. Jesus was a Jew, and the Jews and the Samaritans didn’t get along, so much so that it was common for Jews to walk around Samaria rather than going through it. However, Jesus is Jesus, so what did He do? He went through Samaria, and when he grew thirsty, went right up to a Samaritan woman at a well and asked for a drink. The two had a conversation, and while talking, Jesus revealed how much He knew about the woman and her past. He shared that He was the Savior for whom she had been waiting. The woman’s life would be forever changed.
Jesus crossed the line others wouldn’t. He went up to someone who needed what He had and He shared—His time, His story, and His compassion. He shared despite the person’s sex, race, religion, political affiliation, or what they had done in their past.
There’s so much to unpack in this story, but none of it would have happened if Jesus didn’t go; if He had stayed outside of Samaria, if He decided to reach only a certain kind of people, or if He waited for people to come to Him, the Samaritan woman and countless others would have missed out on what they so desperately needed.
Jesus didn’t see people the way the world does because He knew everyone—no matter who they were—needed Him.
What about us? Which people do we know need Jesus, and where do we need to go? The church is where we get ready and suited up, but it is not where we’re supposed to stay. We need to go to the people.
When I drove out of a church parking lot, I once saw a sign that read, “Now Entering the Mission Field.” To reach others with the good news of Jesus, we can’t stay; we need to go, but go where?
We were each created differently. We’re all at different stages in our lives. We all have different appointments, errands, and hobbies, and as Christians, this is what makes us so dynamic! You’re not going to reach the world’s seven billion people by yourself, but think about you: When it comes to going and reaching, whom are the people you interact with? Whom can you start a relationship with? Whom do you see and know and love?
If you’re a parent, what about other parents at your child’s sporting events? If you’re a commuter, what about the person you see every day on the train? If you’re a student, what about the kids always sitting by themselves? Each one of us has unique opportunities others don’t, day after day. Start a friendship. Let people experience Jesus’ love through you, no matter who they are or what they look like. Let them see your hope, your peace, and your compassion. Let them see Jesus.
After the Samaritan woman left Jesus, she went and told others she had encountered the Messiah. The Bible says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39). When you share Jesus with someone, whom might they go and share with? The ripples can be endless.
We’re not called to stay in the saltshaker; we’re called to go and give away what we have.