Prepare to Listen. Before reading, be still then pray: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Prayerfully Read John 4: 27-30 and 39-42
27Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’ 28Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ 30They left the city and were on their way to him. 39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, ‘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 Saviour of the world.’
The story began with the woman protesting Jesus’ command to give her water. Why, she no doubt thought, would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink in a public place. The story ends when the woman races back to her village, witnessing to her people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ Her testimony was so powerful the people left the city to find out for themselves. When they heard Jesus, it was enough for them ‘and many more believed because of his word.’ The woman’s testimony persuaded them to drop what they were doing and discover for themselves. Jesus’ words convinced them. It’s not our job to convince people to believe. It’s our task to entice them to go and hear for themselves then get out of the way and let the Spirit do the rest in them. The woman gave her testimony and got out of the way as the people said to her, ‘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 Saviour of the world.’
The Gospel doesn’t tell us what happened to the Samaritan woman after her encounter with Jesus. Use your imagination and continue her story. (It will tell you more about yourself and your relationship with Jesus.)
During the coronavirus crisis that is changing so much of what we know and expect, it takes courage to hear and then trust the words of Jesus. May you experience that courage today.
Respond to Jesus
Lord, help me be like the Samaritan woman so that I too am led to give a testimony about you that entices others to go in search of you. May I live in today's crisis in a way that draws people to you. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, enticing others to Jesus.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.