How do we invite people to faith? When Jesus met the woman at the well (John 4:7) his invitation was distinct in many ways. First of all, he was not a bigot, but willing to chat with anyone. His unbiased friendliness broke the ice. Jesus seized her curiosity by speaking about the gift of God and living water which gives eternal life. In ancient languages, flowing water was called living as opposed to still water. The woman’s curiosity grew. As the conversation progressed, Jesus revealed deeper and deeper truths to her, including his ability to know even personal secrets. The result of the conversation was that not only she came to faith, but others also. While we may not have every ability that Jesus did, we can certainly learn from him and make the invitation attractive to our hearers.
When Jesus met a woman at a well (John 4:7-9) he broke a number of social taboos. The woman mentioned the most obvious. She explained that Jews did not associate with Samaritans. Yet, Jesus was not concerned with such bigotry. A couple of other taboos may not seem so obvious. In a society that was hypersensitive to any appearance of evil, the fact that Jesus talked to a woman alone, could have been taken the wrong way. Especially so because perhaps only someone with a bad reputation would be gathering water alone at a well in the heat of the day. Yet, Jesus did not care what others thought, when he knew he was doing right. We have our own modern prejudices to contend with. How do we react, caring more about what others think or what is right?
If Jesus led the way in braking the taboos of bigotry, ought not we in the church follow him and be the leaders against social taboos based upon bigotry!