When were you last so gripped by something that you couldn’t think of food?
Jesus had such a moment at the time of his famed encounter with ‘the woman at the well’ in Samaria. His disciples were urging him to eat but that was the furthest thing from his mind.
“I have food to eat that you do not know about”, He told His disciples.
The disciples had just arrived back from town with lunch, but Jesus was too absorbed by the ripe grain of God’s harvest to even consider the pickings of the Sychar granary.
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work”, He said, as He prepared to win many converts from the town the disciples had emerged from. They were unaware that this ‘pit stop’ on the way between the only two destinations on their map “Judea and Galilee” was about to become the centre of a move of God that we would still be talking about 2,000 years later.
Had these missionaries realised for a moment, as they wandered through the bustle of the Sychar market, that they were actually squeezing their way through a ripe harvest field, who knows that they mightn’t have considered the possibility of sharing the Good News with the Samaritans themselves? A big ask, perhaps, but you never know!
Instead, the Bible gives the credit for this great Samaritan awakening to a promiscuous, rejected woman with dysfunctional lifestyle and ill-informed religious ideas. God would use a woman that the disciples, ironically, were aghast to find Jesus even talking to!
But she, not any of them, became the evangelist of the day.
I was told recently of a survey which found that, in so-called ‘post-Christian Britain’, if invited by someone to go accompanied to church, 80% of those asked will actually say, “Yes”!
The Gospel is still able to stimulate interest in any place or culture. There are still seekers after God everywhere, frequently in places where the church rarely ever touches.
When the invitation was sent out in Samaria, Jesus didn’t even have to walk to the harvest, it came to him! As he saw the men of Sychar coming out of the city toward Him, little wonder lunch was the furthest thing from his mind; this, as he told his disciples, was what satisfied his deepest hunger.
I am so glad it wasn’t ‘the mighty twelve’ who triggered an unlikely spiritual awakening in an impossible place.
Just a woman with a testimony. An ordinary person touched by Jesus. A wayward soul whom something good had finally happened to, who knew nothing better than to tell everyone she met:”Come, see a man who told me everything I have done”.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to save the world, or expect us to answer every doubter’s questions.
All he says is, Just bring them to me and they’ll soon find out for themselves!
Is that not something we can all do?
Just find someone, anyone, and say, “Come!”